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Army and Miscellaneous Sketches. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


"Walks About Chicago, 


Armt and Miscellaneous Sketches. 





Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S69, 


In tlie Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Northern District of 





A Triangular Walk; — Nord Seite — Southside 

— Westside, _ - . - . ^ 

Water- Works and Water- Falls, - - "23 
CouRT-HousE Ghost, - - - - 28 

A Walk in the Fall, - - - - - 34 
Orpheus in Hades, - - - - 

The Male Sorosis, - - - - - 47 
How to Quit Smoking, - - - - 57 

Mill on the Prairie, - - - - - (>3 
Going to the Matinee, - - - - 72 

The Ou) Man's Smoke, - - - - 77 
The Drop Curtain at Aiken's Theatre, - 80 

The Cold Victuals Contest, - - - 81 


Mackinaw, ------ S7 

Sault Ste. Marie, - - - - - 91 

Lake Superior, ----- c)6 

Niagara, iqq 
In the Country, ----- 106 

Saratoga, ------ 109 

Green Mountains, - - - - 113 




A Bohemian Among the Rebels, - - - 123 

Pap Fuller's Game of Poker, - - - 140 

Recollections of Gen. Fred, Steele, - - 148 

Some People I have Met, - - - 158 

Some Remembered Faces, - - - - 164 

A Reminiscence of the War, - - - 170 

A Desperado who would not Stay Killed, - 179 

Among the Guerrillas, - - - - 189 

Some Recollections of Allatoona, - - 196 

The Revelations of a Window, - - - 206 

A Revelation of Clairvoyance, - - - 215 

A Leap- Year Romance, - - - 224 

The Horrors of Masonry, - - - - 229 

A Dream and How it was Fulfilled, - - 238 

Getting a Drink under Difficulties, - - 252 

A Moral Country Place and its People, - 261 

BiCYCULAR Affection, _ . . _ 273 

All About a Woman, - 279 

A Ride to Death, - 284 
The M06T Beautiful Woman I have Known, - 301 




HE geography, customs, productions, peo- 
ple, and so forth, of a new country, are 
always full of interest. 

Once, when I was traveling about, I 
reached a place known among its inhabitants as 
*' Nord Seite." I spent some time there. I found 
much to interest a traveler. 

Nord Seite is situated in about the same latitude 
as Chicago, and is about loj degrees of longitude 
west of Washington. Its population is about 60,000. 

To reach it from Chicago, one can take rail to 
New York ; thence go by steamer to Alaska, via 
Cape Horn ; from Alaska south to about the 42nd 
parallel ; thence east by stage and rail, 2,000 miles, 
to Nord Seite. 

Nord Seite has an immense body of water on one 
side, and a river whose main stream and one branch 
inclose two of the remaining sides. Nord Seite is, 
therefore, a sort of peninsula. 

The river referred to is deep and sluggish. It can 
not be forded. It can not be crossed in small boats 
on account of its exhalations. These are a combi- 


Walks About Chicago, 

nation of sulphureted hydrogen, the odor of de- 
caying rodents, and the stench of rotting brassica. 
In crossing this river, a sort of contrivance is resorted 
to, which is termed by the natives, Bruecke. 

This Bruecke is not alw^ays reHable. Sometimes 
one can get over the river by its means, oftener he 
can't. The Bruecke is built of w^ood and iron, 
painted red, and at a distance looks not unlike a 
stumpy sort of rainbovs^. 

The inhabitants of Nord Seite consist of men, 
w^omen, children, dogs, billy-goats, pigs, cats, and 
fleas. In estimating the proportion of each of these 
classes, it is found that the fleas vastly outnumber all 
the others. They are not only numerous, but full- 
grown and vicious. 

In the warm season, a Nord-Seiter has a lively 
time in flea-hunting. In hunting this game, the 
Nord-Seiter shuts himself or herself in a tight room, 
and strips to the skin. Then the flea is pursued and 

Most all the Nord-Seite dogs are good flea-hunters. 
They commence hunting fleas when young, without 
any instruction. Pretty much all their lives are 
spent in pursuit of this pastime. 

The human population of Nord Seite is indus- 
trious. In the flea and fly time especially. 

The business of the inhabitants of Nord Seite 
consists of a great variety of pursuits and occupa- 
tions. These pursuits and occupations divide them- 
selves naturally into two large classes. The first 
consists of every other male resident of Nord Seite. 
These are engaged in selling a liquid which tastes 

A Triangular Walk, 


something like a mixture of hops and rosin. It is 
the color of amber, and is surmounted with a white, 
yeasty, flaky coronal. The other class includes 
every man, woman and child in Nord Seite. This 
class is engaged in drinking what the other class is 
engaged In selling. 

From the large admixture of hops in this universal 
beverage, it results that the residents of Nord Seite 
are very fond of dancing. 

The ladies of Nord Seite are usually feminine in 
dress, and oftentimes so in fact and appearance. 
They mostly wear their hair braided in small plaits, 
which are again braided in larger plaits, which are 
braided into still larger ones ; and these are once 
more braided into a large braid, which is twisted, 
and coiled, and wound, and intertwined in, and 
around, and through, and about, and over, and under 
itself, till it resembles a riddle tied in a Gordian 
knot, and the whole enveloped in a rebus which 
nobody ever can guess. 

When a Nord-Seite lady once gets her hair done 
up in this comjolex and elaborate style, she never 
takes it down. She couldn't if she would. The only 
method of removing this style of coiffure is to shave 
the head. 

Intercommunication in Nord Seite is carried on in 
various ways. Many of the inhabitants go on foot. 
Others have a small two-wheeled vehicle, to which 
are harnessed a dog and a small boy, or a little girl. 

They also have tracks upon which run vehicles, 
which they term Vagens. The Vagen is drawn by 
two horses. 


Wal/es About Chicago, 

The Vagen is used jDrincipally for the conveyance 
of passengers carrying goods. It will answer to 
what would be an express-car in this country, 
in which eacli man should ride carrying whatever 
article he wished expressed to any point. 

I have been in a Vagcn in which a woman, on 
one side of me, carried on her lap a clothes-basket ; 
in which were four heads of cabbage ; six links of 
imported sausage ; one bottle of goose-grease ; two 
loaves of a brown, farinaceous product known as 
Brodt; a calf's liver ; some strips of what is known 
as Schweinjleisch ; a half peck of onions; a string 
of garlic ; and a large piece of a fragrant compound 
known as Limburger Kdse. 

On the other side of me was a woman with a 
baby in her arms ; a small child on each knee ; two 
other children, a trifle larger, on their knees, on 
each side of her, looking out the windows of the 
Vagen; and five other children, of various sizes, 
picturesquely grouped about her knees and on the 
floor. The same sort of thing was seen all through 
the Vagen. Each woman either had from four to 
nine children, or a basket that filled half the vehicle. 
Sometimes a woman would have the basket and the 
children both. 

A \Q.ry common patroness of the Vagcn was a 
woman with two buckets of swill, carried by a yoke 
from the neck. The woman with the swill buckets 
was very common. She usually made her appear- 
ance at every third square. She didn't generally 
look very attractive. If possible, she smelt a trille 
worse than she looked. 

A Triangular Walk, 


The Nord-Seiter is economical. No matter if he 
earn nothing per diejn^ he always has enough to 
buy a mug of the amber fluid, and have five cents 
over, w^hich he puts away in the bottom of an old 

There is no newspaper published in Nord Seite. 
But there is a brewery there. So is there a distillery. 
There is likewise a place where they sell a beverage 
known as Lager Bier, 

When two or three Nord-Seiters are conversing 
confidentially on a subject which they wish nobody 
else to hear, their whisper is about as loud as the 
tone in which a Chicago man would say " Oh, Bill !" 
to an acquaintance two blocks away. 

When two or three Nord-Seiters converse in an 
ordinary tone of voice, the result is a tremendous 
roar. A stransrer would think them eno^ao^ed in a 
hot, terrific altercation. 

A Nord-Seite Vagen is an epitome of one hun- 
dred and eight distinct odors, of which onions consti- 
tute the dominant. 

Some of the Nord-Seiters speak a little broken 

There are many other curious things about Nord 
Seite and its population. Any body who has time 
and money should visit the place. The people are 
hospitable. Any one can visit them ; reside with 
tliem as long as necessary ; study their customs ; and 
enjoy himself very thoroughly. 

14 Walks Abozit Chicago. 


Once I described a visit I made to a remote and 
singular place known to the inhabitants as Nord 
Seite. During the same traveling expedition, I 
reached another city which contains many points of 
interest. This other place is named, by those who 
reside in it, vSouthside. 

To get to Southside from Nord Seite, one takes a 
steamer to Detroit via Milwaukee, Mackinaw, and 
Sarnia. Thence east through Canada to Montreal, 
thence south via St. Albans, Rutland, Saratoga, and 
Albany to New York. From here you go to Phila- 
delphia, and thence west by rail to Southside. 

By this route one will either reach Southside, or 
New Jerusalem by being wrecked on the water or 
smashed on the land. By this route it is two to one 
in favor of your getting to New Jerusalem, rather 
than to Southside. Few men have ever essayed the 
trip and lived to tell the tale. 

When you once get to Southside you will feel 
amply repaid for the risking the perils of the jour- 
ney. It is a large and thriving city, and has a popu- 
lation of less than 100,000. 

Southside is laid out next to a large and flourishing 
body of water on one side, and a deep and aromatic 
river on the other. In the matter of location it is 
very exclusive. The river is impassable. Birds 
which attempt to Hy over it are intoxicated by its 
exhilarating perfume, and they fall into it and die. 

Southside has but one street, which is known as 

A Triangular Walk, 


The Avenue. All the population of Southside live 
upon The Avenue. If you meet a Southsider in 
St. Petersburgh, and ask him where he lives, he will 
say he lives on The Avenue. Afterwards, if you ask 
him, he will tell you in what city, state, and country 
The Avenue is located. 

Southside has street cars which are exclusively 
for the benefit of strangers visiting the place. Some- 
times a lady who lives on The Avenue gets on one 
of these cars. Whenever she does, she opens a con- 
versation with some one, and tells him in a loud tone 
that both her carriages are at the shop to be mended. 
She also is obliged to ask the conductor how much 
the fare is. 

Southside once had a fine opera-house in which 
there used to sing grand artists. But now the opera- 
house has got to be a combination of hippodrome, 
gymnasium, and model-artist exhibitions. Where 
Casta Diva was once trilled sublimely, there is now 
roared in a hoarse voice, " Captain Jinks of the Horse 
Marines." Where Queen Elizabeth once strode there 
now straddles some undressed nymph — of the spec- 
tacular persuasion. 

The Avenue in Southside is occupied by some of 
the most aristocratic and wealthy families in exist- 
ence. There are many of them whose descent goes 
back to Noah and Adam. 

The hospitality of many of the aristocratic and 
wealthy families on The Avenue is remarkable. 
They carry their hospitality to such an extent that 
a family will often put notices in the newspapers 
ofiering all the comforts of a home to a couple of 


Walks About Chicago. 

young gentlemen, or to a gentleman and his wife, 
without any children. 

About one-half the hospitable residents on The 
Avenue, in this manner, afford the comforts of a 
home to a few guests. In return for the comforts 
of a home thus generously afforded them, the guests 
pay a small per capita tax. This little tax never 
amounts to more than twice or three times the entire 
expenses of the hospitable family with whom the 
guests find the comforts of a home. 

Sometimes a resident of The Avenue will take a 
few guests for their companionship. The cost of 
being a companion on The Avenue ranges from all 
you have in the shape of income to all you can 

There are no boarding-houses on The Avenue. 
A man who can not afford to be a companion in a 
refined family, or whose assets do not permit his 
enjoyment of the comforts of a home, has to consult 
economy and go to a hotel, where he can exist for 
$50 per week. 

All the people who live on The Avenue keep their 
their own carriages. The gentlemen are good horse- 
men, and always do their own driving. When a 
Southsider drives himself out he usually wears a plug 
hat, with the fur, just above the brim, brushed the 
wrong way. The gentleman who thus drives him- 
self is generally a fine, healthy, fresh-looking man. 
The coachman rides behind. He has thin legs, 
a weak voice, and frequently wears eye-glasses. 

The young ladies who live on The Avenue are the 
most beautiful in the world. They always marry for 

A Triangular Walk, 

love. Especially if the husband be worth a couple 
of hundred thousand dollars. Or says he is. 

When these charming young ladies are married 
they never get divorces — in less than three or six 
months. If they do, the case is exceptional. The 
rule is one year, unless the young man's money runs 
out sooner, or the young v^oman gets a better ofler. 

There is one gambling-house in Southside. There 
is likewise a house occupied by young women who 
are highly painted, and about the purity of whose 
morals there is some doubt. 

There is likewise an association of young Christ- 
tians who pray for the poor, and needy, and the 

Getting to heaven from Southside is an exclusive, 
first-class, expensive operation. A reserved seat on 
the Southside route costs from $1,500 to $5,000 per 
annum. They run only drawing-room vehicles and 
palace cars from the Southside depots. Grace, 
Trinity and Messiah are some of the principal depots 
from out which there run weekly lines of velvet and 
mahogany coaches, in which every thing is exclusive, 
first-class, tip-top, and warranted to run through 
without change. 

A poor man in Southside who wants to go to 
heaven, has to go afoot. There is only one man in 
Southside who is footing it. There are some other 
poor ones who are too weak to walk and too poor to 
ride. They propose to go to the other place. It is 
a good deal cheaper to go to h — 1 from Southside 
than it is to go to heaven. 

Southside has a fine park some where. Real 


Walks About Chicago. 

estate dealers know where it is. It will be a nice, 
shady j^lace as soon as some trees are set out. All 
the little boys of Southside are going to take their 
grandchildren down to the park to play, as soon as 
the latter get large enough. 

There is a velocipede school in Southside. Some 
of the young men of Southside who ride the veloci- 
pede have to stiffen their legs with splinters to keep 
them from snapping ot^'. Southside has also a peri- 
odical published in the interest of woman. The 
interest of woman means, the interest of the woman 
that publishes it. There is also a man in the commis- 
sion business in Southside. He lives on The Avenue. 

There are are a thousand other curious things con- 
nected with Southside and its residents which must 
be seen to be appreciated. It is a good place to 
go to. 


Any person w^ho has ever traveled much, or who 
has studied physical geography, must have visited, 
or must have seen, a place known as Westside. It 
is one of the largest places of its size, and the most 
singular in respect to its singularity, in the world. 

To get to Westside, the traveler provides himself 
with a v^^ater-proof suit of clothing, an umbrella, a 
life-preserver, and a box of troches. He then enters 
an immense hole under ground w^hich leads mainly 
westward in one direction, and eastward in another 

This subterranean entrance to Westside was con- 
structed for a double purpose. One of these pur- 

A Triangular Walk. 


poses was to prevent any body who lives on West- 
side from leaving. The other was because there is 
a river which no body can cross, owing to its exhala- 
tions. The subterranean entrance runs under this 

Going through this hole is a work of immense 
difficulty and danger. The best way to get through 
in winter is to skate through. In summer, for a few 
days, in dog-days, there is good boating. The innu- 
merable cascades, cataracts, pitfalls, and the intense 
darkness make its navigation a work of great risk. 
Like the entrance to Rasselas' Happy Valley, it is 
constructed to keep people in, who are once in, and 
to discourage the coming in of those who are out. 

Once in Westside the traveler finds himself on 
an enormous plain sparsely covered with houses. 
Westside extends from the river to a park somewhere 
on its limits to the westward. Just where this park 
is, nobody knows. The boundaries of Westside are 
as limitless and indefinite as the interval from the 
Gulf of Mexico to the present time. 

The architecture of Westside is fine and peculiar. 
A residence with a marble front always has a 
butcher's shop on one side, and a beer saloon on the 
other. The people who live in Westside are as 
diversified as their architecture. 

Westside has street-cars which are sometimes 
visible when a rain has laid the dust. One conductor 
on one of these street-cars washed his hands one 
spring. At least it was said he did. No body was 
ever able to tell when the time was, or which con- 
ductor it was that did it. 


Walks About Chicago. 

Whenever a man in Westside builds a house and 
puts up a fence in front of it, he immediately calls 
the space in front of his lot an avenue. Almost 
every Westsider lives on an avenue. Sometimes a 
Westside avenue is as much as 200 or 300 feet long. 

Every other shop in Westside is owned by a 
butcher, w^ho has always a bloody and half-skinned 
calf hanging up in his door for a cheerful sign. The 
thing is so agreeable to Westsiders, that, on every 
pleasant afternoon, the ladies take their knitting-work, 
and go and sit in front of the butcher's shop. 

Westside is the residence of a good many notable, 
strong-minded women. These strong-minded women 
all have virtuous and docile husbands, wdio are fur- 
ther characterized by their sweetness, and their retir- 
ing dispositions. Whenever a Westside w^oman gets 
to weigh 270 pounds, she immediately starts out in 
favor of w^oman's rights. In this weigh, she is 
able to afford great weight to the cause which she 

Every woman in Westside once lived on The 
Avenue of a place known as Southside. Whenever 
she goes down town, she goes to visit a friend on 
The Avenue. Whenever she has been down town, 
she has been to call on a friend who lives on The 
Avenue. A good many ladies who live in Westside 
carry the idea, in the cars, that they live in Southside, 
on The Avenue, and are only in Westside for a visit. 
The uncle, aunt, cousin, grand-mother, brother-in- 
law, step-sister, half-uncle, and god-father of every 
body in Westside lives on The Avenue in Southside. 
No young lady in Westside wdll receive permanent 

A Triangular Walk. 


attention from a young man unless he lives on The 
Avenue in Southside. When a Westsider of the 
female persuasion dies, her spirit immediately wrings 
its way to the blissful and ecstatic realms of The 
Avenue on Southside. 

The railway companies inWestside never water 
their track. They do their stock. The result, in 
both cases, is to throw dirt in the eyes of the public. 

There are no carriages in Westside. It is so dusty 
there, that a vehicle which does not run on rails can 
never find its way from one point to another. When 
it is not dusty it is muddy. The dust has no top, 
and the mud no bottom. In either case, locomotion, 
except on tracks, is impossible. 

Westside has no newspapers. It likewise has no 
opera-house which is used as a circus. Its principal 
local amusement consists, among the men, in chewing 
tobacco, and among the women, in going to church. 
Wherever there is a corner in Westside not occupied 
as a drug store, it is occupied by a church. 

All the churches in Westside have some thing 
going on in them every evening, and seven after- 
noons in every week, and four times every Sunday. 
Whenever there is any thing going on in any church, 
they toll the bell for an hour and a quarter before it 
commences, and at intei'vals during the performance. 
The result is, that every man in Westside hears 
from one to eleven bells tolling cheerfully three-fifths 
of his time. 

A stranger in Westside would conclude that the 
whole town was dead, or that ten or fifteen melan- 
choly funerals were in progress in every neighbor- 


Walks About Chicago. 

hood. There is one church, on the corner of Wash- 
ington avenue and Robey avenue, that has been 
tolHng its bell without cessation for two years. When 
there isn't a ^Drayer-meeting, or some body dead, they 
toll it for some body w^ho is going to die. They use 
up a sexton there every thirteen days. W^hen there 
is no pra3 er-meeting, or any thing else, or any body 
dead, or any body who is going to die, then the bell 
tolls for the last deceased sexton. 

Westside is immensely philanthropic. It has an 
asylum for inebriates from Southside, and other 
places. This asylum has often as many as from one 
to two inebriates who are undergoing treatment. 
The treatment consists in leaning against the fence, 
when tight, and in stepping over the way to a saloon 
and getting tight, w^hen sober. The asylum is a very 
cheerful building, with enormous windows of four 
by six glass. Some of the rooms are fine and airy, 
and would answer for dog-kennels if enlarged and 
properly ventilated. 

There are a good many other peculiar things in 
Westside, which can be better understood by being 
seen than by being heard of. Any body who dares 
to face the dangers and darkness of the hole in the 
ground by which one reaches Westside, will be well 
repaid for his visit. 


HEN one lacks a theme upon which to 
write, he can alwa}'S fall back on Chica- 
go. Other subjects have a depth which 
is fathomable ; Chicago, like its mud, is 

One can always write about Chicago without 
wearying himself or his readers. He may write of 
it as a whole, — a mud-hole, — if he chooses, and 
never exhaust it. He may deal with it in particu- 
lars, and never reach their end. 

The great event of the past week was the great 
tunnel. And speaking of water-works irresistibly 
reminds one of our ladies. And this again necessi- 
tates raptures. What is there more beautiful in 
song or story, in romance or legend, in dreams or 
in imagination, than the latest style of woman 
Her water-fall, tied on the top of her head, may be 
said to be at high tide. There is nothing so charm- 
ing as the present style. What can be more rakish 
than the little flat hat, one end of which rests on a 
delicate nose, and the other, reaching aspiringly up- 
wards, upon the towering water-fall ? The nose of 


Walks About Chicago, 

the ladies is out of joint. Once it had its own 
bridge ; now it serves as a pier for a bridge from 
nose to chignon. 

The part of the head thus bridged is that which 
usually contains the intellectual faculties. Bridges 
are generally built over abysses. There is ordina- 
rily nothing under a bridge. Is there any thing 
under these' hat-bridges Are they constructed be- 
cause there is emptiness, space, vacuity, an abysm 
between nose and waterfall ? 

The elevated chignon now covers the organs of 
amativeness and self-esteem. When women lack a 
development in any part, tliey usually supply it. 
Why they should pad either of these phrenological 
developments, one fails to see. It is like carrying 
coals to Newcastle. The latter of these two organs 
is always of full size in the sex. The other is never 
deficient. It is the most beautiful development in 
woman. With it she loves early and often. 

From a water-fall to water-works the transforma- 
tion is natural. In this connection, it is gratifying 
to be able to state that the new water works well. 
Not well-water, but lake-water is meant. 

The new water which comes through the tunnel 
is of the most remarkable purity. It is so perfectly 
clear and ti*ansparent that, when frozen into ice, it 
becomes invisible. When a goblet stands before 
one at dinner, he has to thrust his finger in it to know 
whether there is water there. In some respects it 
is inconvenient. A pail left over night, half-filled 
with water, will contain a half-dozen drowned rats 
in the morning. They leap into the pail thinking 

Water - Works and Waterfalls, 25 

that there is nothing in it. It is dangerous to leave 
water-tubs about that have w^ater in them ; children 
get into them to play, under the impression that they 
are empty. Small children are very frequently found 
in a very wet condition. 

The introduction of the new water has ruined 
filter manufacturers. Passing our water through a 
filter has the effect to purify the filter and to foul the 
water. S^oeaking of water-fowl leads to the inquiry 
as to whether there is any philological connection 
between these birds and an aqua-duck? 

Not only are filter dealers about to fail, but hotel 
and boarding-house keepers are experiencing a 
heavy loss. A pitcher of water, which once went a 
great ways in house-keeping, is now of no account 
save to quench thirst. Many families that, on Fri- 
day, drank only Chicago water, now have to buy 
their fish at the market. In fact, the expenses of 
living in Chicago have increased. Where there was 
once a surplus, there is now a defishency. Before 
the tunnel was bored, board was a more profitable 
affair than it now is. Then it was like the water, — 
there was something in it ; now, like the water, tliere 
is nothing in it. 

The cleansing properties of the new water are 
wonderful. Children whose faces have been washed 
in it have been lost and never found. Their mothers 
can not recognize them. It is j^i'oposed to estab- 
lished a place where lost children may be gathered, 
and where only the old water will be used in their 
ablutions. In time, it is expected that many young 


Walks About Chicago. 

children, whom nobody now knows, will be recog- 
nized by their parents. 

Long-married people who wash themselves in the 
new water undergo all the satisfaction of a newly- 
married pair. She seems some other woman. He 
appears some other man. The jaded routine of 
their old life disappears. There is the freshness, 
the piquancy, of a new love. She is tender, believ- 
ing him some gentle stranger. He is gallant, think- 
ing her some beautiful young Thing. 

Some queer results attend the invisibility which 
characterizes the purity of Chicago water. The 
day that the water was let in, there was an alarm of 
fire. The engines proceeded to the conflagration. 
It was that of $250 worth of cigars, insured in four 
companies at $1,000 each. The hose was reeled oft' 
and attached to the hydrants. The firemen directed 
the nozzles towards the burning establishment. 
There was a tremendous rush, as of air, but appa- 
rently no water. The real state of the case was 
not suspected until a passing dog, that happened to 
go in a line of the stream, was stricken with hydro- 

The result of the occurrence is well known. The 
owner of the cigar stock got his insurance, and went 
back to his native clime south of the Baltic. When 
last heard from, he was engaged in giving advice 
to some poor countrymen. He told them to go 
to America, and that their best policy would be to 
insure something. He assured tliem that the risks 
in this business were small, and the premJum for a 
virtuous adherence to the business lucrative. 

Water -Works and Waterfalls. 27 

Speaking of insurance suggests that competition 
in this hne grows more Hvely every day. A com- 
pany has just been started that offers heavy induce- 
ments. It vs^ill take small cigar stocks at a minimum 
of four times their value ; and it presents, along with 
each policy, a barrel of shavings, a bottle of turpen- 
tine, and a box of matches. 

Insurance companies in Chicago are doing a fine 
business. A good many men have latterly been able 
to retire from the business. Nearly all of those who 
have retired have large balances at the bank. These 
balances appear on that side of the bank-ledger 
known as " Dr." 

Insurance, however, has no special connection 
with Chicago water, unless it be marine insurance. 
In this case there is some. Marine insurance is not 
the life assurance of marines. It refers to vessels 
which cross that crystal reservoir from which 
Chicago now draws its water. 

The purity of Chicago water is guaranteed from 
the fact that it reaches us through a hole. Water 
that comes to us through a hole must be wholly 
water. It does not, however, follow that it is holy 
water. It is simj^ly good, pure water. It is good 
enough to form the subject of a poem. The eaii de 
Chicago might be used as the theme of a cold water 

Perhaps some future poet, struck by the gorgeous 
spectacle of our grandeur, may attempt this ode. If 
he does, he had better make it " owed." A century 
hence, what Chicago owed in 1867 will be a greater 
subject of reflection than its water-works. 


HE writer was taking a walk around the 
court-house square. There is a nice 
promenade in the pubhc square. Es- 
pecially after night. The massive court- 
house is piled up like immense masses of darkness 
bordered with gray. It is a cool place. Whatever 
way one goes, the fierce winds come howling around 
the corners of the rectangle, meeting him square in 
the face. If he turn and go the other way, the winds 
hasten back, and are in waiting to meet him in the 
face at the next corner. 

If one is a little lonely, he need not lack for com- 
panionship. He can get up a conversation at any 
time with voices that issue through the grates. Not 
a very select conversation, however ; at least on the 
part of the voices behind the grates. There is much 
oath. There are allusions suggestive of moral rot- 
tenness. Expletives odorous with blasphemy. Not 
much will be said by the voices behind the grates to 
excite the admiration of a healthy Christian. 

It was a cloudy night on which the writer amused 
himself by walking in the square. A mist had set- 
tled over the street lamps, and their light seemed to 

Court-House Ghost. 


issue through long tubes, whose inner surface appeared 
covered with grayish points, Hke long hairs. Noth- 
ing was visible any where, save in dim outline. No 
pedestrians any where were visible. There came 
indistinctly the click of billiard-balls from a half- 
obscured mass of light in the Sherman house. 

Suddenly, as the writer stood listening to the 
voices behind the grate, there stood before him a 
gigantic figure. He did not appear to have come 
there. He appeared, as it were. There was no 
sound of steps to announce his coming. He stood 
there like a tree, as if he had always been there. 
He was wrapped in a heavy overcoat. Tall boots 
passed above his knees, and disappeared beneath his 
coat. An immense cap was drawn down over his 
ears and forehead. A large shawl inclosed his neck 
and the lower portion of his face. No portion of 
the stranger was exposed, save his eyes. 

The writer was startled at the abrupt appearance 
of the stranger, and his motionless attitude. At the 
very moment that he appeared, the air seemed im- 
pregnated with a foetid odor. 

"Who are you?" said the writer, as he involun- 
tarily covered his nose with one hand, and with the 
other felt for the butt of his revolver. 

" Who am I?" said the stranger, in a strange, hol- 
low voice. " Who am I?" he repeated slowly. " I 
will tell you who I am. I am the incarnation of 
stench. I am, in short, the Court-House Ghost." 

" You don't tell me ! " 

" Truly, I am. If you doubt, use your olfactories." 
I'faith, T can no longer doubt the former part of 


Walks About Chicago. 

your assertion. But the ghost part I am not so sure 
of. I am inclined to suspect that you are a bone- 
boiler just in from the South branch. Or a he-Naiad, 
just arisen from the Chicago river." 

"No. I am what I say. lam the Court-House 
Gliost. It's me who has been groaning so dismally 
through the corridors of the jail. I was seeking an 

" Being a ghost, why need you make any extra 
effort to get out?" 

" Because, since the cold weather has come on, 
every crack and orifice in the jail has been so stopped 
up that there was no exit. Hence my groans. In 
warm weather, I have no trouble to come and go 
when I please." 

" Exactly. Well, do you travel around much.?" 

" Oh, yes. I am fond of going around. I am 
partial to amusements. I like Wood's Museum. I 
go there often." 

" Precisely. I think it likely. I may never have 
seen you there ; but, if not mistaken, I have smelt 

" Undoubtedly. I go there almost every night." 

"And do you have no other resort?" 

" Oh, yes, of course. Next to the Museum, I am 
partial to McVicker's. On crowded nights, I can't 
say but what I like the latter almost as well as the 
former. I sometimes, on benefit or fashionable 
nights, like to drop into the Opera-House. But, as a 
general thing, I don't like that place. It is too large 
and airy, and I become lost in its vastness." 

Court- House Ghost. 


" Do you do any thing else when you come out- 
side ?" 

" Yes, next to going to places of amusement, I 
like the horse-cars. I spend a good deal of time on 
the horse-cars. Latterly, however, the roads have 
been torn up so much that my favorite routes have 
been much interfered with. My preference is for 
Archer road. That has been all right this summer. 
I used to be very fond of the Halsted and Milwau- 
kee lines. But, just to defeat or to annoy me, those 
roads have been torn up all summer, and, in conse- 
quence, I have been swindled out of a good many 
pleasant trips." 

" Are you a member of any church } Do you 
patronize the Sabbath services.^" 

"You take me for a heathen, sir.?" 

" No, sir. I take you for a son of old rancidity, 
by a marriage with some member of the highly 
respectable assafoetida family. That's all. Don't 
take oflence." 

" No oftence. Well, then, I do attend church very 
regularly. Some of the churches in town are favor- 
ites of mine. I am partial to all the services, but 
especially to those held in the evening." 

" I think I have recognized your presence in several 
cases. As a general thing, you seem to be a favorite. 
In my own case, I must say that I have given more 
attention to you than to the sermon. Usually, there 
is more of you. You appeal, so to speak, more to 
one's senses." 

" Yes, I am rather a favorite among the religious 
people. Somehow, folks have fallen into a way of 


Walks About Chicago. 

thinking that I am a necessary part of Divine service. 
If I w^ere not jDresent, they would not think the per- 
formance complete. I infer that I am much liked 
from the fact that nearly all the churches are built 
with special reference to my convenience. They 
are so fearful, apparently, that I will not stay with 
them, that they are careful to allow no avenue of 
escape. I rather like it. Usually, the sisters are 
charming. It pleases me to be with them. I nestle 
among their furs and tresses. I brush their rosy lips, 
and mingle myself with their breath. I am very 
fond of women, I am." 

"Well, my sentimental extract of putrescence, 
what else do you do to amuse yourself?" 

" Not much of any thing in particular, but a little 
of every thing in general. Sometimes I visit a twin 
brother of mine who resides at Bridgeport ; and I 
linger, at times, over the bridges to inhale the inspir- 
iting odor of that romantic stream, Chicago river. 
Occasionally, late at night, I take a ride, on a scaven- 
ger's cart, into the country. Sometimes I go over 
to the Armory, and I always attend the morning 
sessions of the police court." 

" Well, now, my amiable fetor, tell me what place 
you like best. You seem to have been pretty much 
all over Chicago, and are prepared to say what 
you prefer. Have you a choice of residences — of 
lounging places ?" 

" By all means, sir, in the words of the poet, 
' There is no place like home.' My home is the 
basement of the court-house. There is no place like 
it. I am as old as, or older than, the ancient, fish- 

Court-House Ghost, 


like smell of which you have doubtless heard. I am 
the biggest old smell in Chicago. I was bora in the 
jail. I love it. None of my numerous relations 
ever had a home like mine. It is so exactly adapted 
to my convenience, that sometimes I think it was 
built expressly for me, If so, blessings on the archi- 
tect ! In any case, benisons on the authorities who 
are so careful to minister to my comfort !" 

At this moment the spectre seemed to grow 
emotional. It drew its sleeve rapidly across the 
abyss between the bottom of its cap and the top of 
its neck-handkerchief. 

" Yes, sir," it continued, " it's very generous of 
'em. I wouldn't 'a thought any body would 'a done 
it for a poor old stink like me. It must be on 
account of my age. I am one of the oldest inhabi- 
tants. I was born right here in Chicago, and I've 
grown with the city. All the jail officials like me. 
The jailor is an especial good friend. He spends 
nearly all his time in my company. In fact, so much 
are we together that any one would take us for broth- 
ers. In a good many points you can't tell us apart." 

" Where are you going to-night?" asked the writer 
as the bell in the Court-House commenced striking 

" I came out to go to the limits on some of the 
last cars. I generally go out with some of 'em 
when the nights are cold. Good-bye, stranger." 

Before the writer had time to respond to the 
salutation, the ghost of the Court-House had disap- 
peared. Removing his hand cautiously from his 
nose, the writer hurried from the vicinity. 



HICAGO has entered the fall season under 
very favorable auspices. Chicago ahvays 
enters upon a change of season under 
favorable auspices. When it commences 
the summer, it has a promise of its magnificent sum- 
mer climate. When it begins w^inter, there are fore- 
shadowings of skating, and sleighing, and pretty 
ankles, and much else more or less elevating. In 
the beginning of spring, it is very pleasant to reflect 
that only three months of mud and mean weather 
separate us from summer.' The autumn is mainl}'' 
pleasant as being only one remove from winter. 

The fall season in Chicago, like every thing else 
hereabouts, is a good thing. It is the bridge which 
connects glorious summer with magnificent winter. 
Its coolness begins to tell a little on the smells at the 
Museum and the Theatre. Only a little, however. 
It takes a killing frost to affect either of them to any 
appreciable extent. Even then no great effect is 
produced. These smells have a good many lives 
They are frost-proof. One of them is about four and 
tlie other is six years old. So to speak, they are just 

A Walk in the Fall, 


in the prime of life, and give promise of a long lease 
of existence. 

There is a younger smell at the Opera-House. It 
is what might called a baby smell in comparison 
with the veterans at the other places. But it is grow- 
ing and thriving. In time it may be as stout and 
healthy a smell as that on exhibition at either of the 
other places. 

There is no truth in the rumor that Wood and 
McVicker are negotiating to trade smells. A trade 
would be a good thing to the respective audiences, 
by way of variety ; but it would be a good deal of 
trouble to make the transfer. Neither would bear 
transportation on a dray, owing to their size. There 
isn't any truck in Chicago large enough to handle 
either of them. 

The fall season affords tourists a fine opportunity 
to inspect Chicago in detail. One of the most favored 
localities now visited by travelers is the wilderness 
known as Union Park. Several scientific parties 
have lately been organized to visit the mound in this 
park. It is a great curiosity. Last week a party of 
savans^ composed of the members of the Chicago 
Academy of Sciences, went out to examine the 
mound. Taking two days' provisions, ladders and 
ropes to make an ascent with, and theodolytes and 
quadrants to take observations with, and shovels and 
picks to dig with, they went to the park, and went 
into camp at the foot of the wonderful mound. 

The following are extracts from notes of observa- 
tions taken during a three days' visit to the cele- 
brated mound : 


Walks About Chicago, 

" The Committee appointed by the Chicago Acad- 
emy of Sciences, having provided themselves w^ith 
abundant provisions and scientific instruments, pro- 
ceeded at once to the examination of the mound 
near West Lake Street, in w^hat is known as Union 

" This celebrated mound has hitherto been sup- 
posed to be either a tumulus, or else a species of 
lusus naturce, 

" It presents, at a short distance, the appearance 
of an irregular hemisphere lying upon its flat side. 
A closer view showed your committee that its color 
is dark gray, not unlike that of the unctuous, tena- 
cious mixture of alumina and silica known as clay, 
and excavated every where in our streets. 

" It is entirely destitute of vegetation ; from which 
fact, and the color of the mound. Dr. Andrews was 
inclined to believe that the mound was of volcanic 
origin, and that it was composed of lava worn into 
its present shape by attrition from the receding 
waters of Lake Michigan. 

" There arose a discussion as to the origin — a 
portion of the committee favoring the volcanic 
theory, and another portion what may be termed the 
tumulous explanation. It was finally agreed to post- 
pone a priori discussions, and proceed with an 

"Around the base of the mound were found small, 
roundish stones, having veins, clouds, and other vari- 
ations, and evidently the result of simple concretion, 
or incrustation around a central nucleus. They are 
better known as pebbles. There were also frag- 

A Walk in the Fall, 


ments of carboniferous rocks, which appeared as if 
they had been broken from the parent mass by some 
tremendous force. 

" Dr. Reilly thought they resembled a good deal 
the pieces of rock taken from the limestone quarries 
near the Artesian Well, and, being there broken by 
machinery, are used for macadamizing streets. 

" By the use of ladders and ropes, an ascent of the 
mound was accomplished. Immediate preparations 
were made for an excavation. The crust was dense 
and almost as hard as a rock. This fact confirmed 
Dr. Kennicott in a belief that the origin of the mound 
would be found connected with the azoic period or 

" After the crust had been penetrated to the depth 
of six or seven inches, the process of excavation grew 
more easy. The entire absence of organic remains 
at this point of penetration seemed to rather strengthen 
the opinion of Dr. Kennicott as to the azoic origin 
of the mound. 

"Ten inches from the surface the committee found 
a large leaf in a partial state of preservation, and 
whose extent, color and odor, not unlike that oi saur 
kraut^ were like those of the hrassica oleracea^ or 
common cabbage. This remnant, being unmistaka- 
bly vegetable in its character, at once overthrew 
the theory of the reference of the mound to an azoic 

" About a foot below the vegetable, a tough, stiff, 
leathery article, not unlike a boot sole, was found. 
Eighteen inches below the latter, in a stratum of a 
gravelly character, we found the body of a vertebrate 


Walks About Chicago, 

animal in a tolerable state of presei*vation. Its back- 
bone ultimated caudately about fourteen inches. Its 
head was rounded, base oval, jaws armed with long, 
sharp teeth, and feet with keen claws. The entire 
body was covered with soft, short fur, and the ani- 
mal belonged unmistakably to the genus fells. A 
very powerful and unpleasant odor, like that which 
accompanies animal decomposition, attended the 
body found in the mound, and prevented that ex- 
amination which the committee were disposed to 

" The committee w^ould request further time in 
making up their report. The presence of scorice and 
ashes in great abundance in the mound induces a 
portion of the committee to adhere to the theory of 
a volcanic origin. The only point upon wdiich the 
committee have agreed is, that the origin of the 
mound can not be referred to the azoic period. 

" The presence of the leaf of the brass lea oleracea 
w^ould seem to warrant the conclusion that, at some 
remote period, some members of the great Scandina- 
vian family visited the continent ; and it may be that 
they erected this mound in order to celebrate some 
religious or other rite. A common pine board, upon 
which appeared the Runic inscription, kabblch planz 
fur sel^ would strengthen this idea ; but upon this 
point your committee are not yet agreed. 

" The presence of a specimen of the genus felis 
leads Dr. Andrews to argue that, at whatever period 
the mound was formed, there must have existed 
cotemporaneously rats and mice and political meet- 
ings. The offensive odor surrounding the specimen 

A Walk in the Fall, 


has prevented an exhaustive examination, such as 
the committee would be glad to give. So soon as 
this odor abates in its intensity, an examination will 
be held, and further and more important information 
will undoubtedly be elicited. 

" Conclusions with reference to the specimen re- 
sembling the boot-sole are withheld, in order to give 
the committee time for more extended observation. 

" In submitting this fragmentary report, your com- 
mittee desire simjDly to gratify the intense curiosity 
of the public in regard to this remarkable mound. 
We, therefore, present our labors up to the present 
time, and ask the indulgence of your honorable and 
learned body, and of the public, for a few weeks. 
The committee are not without the hope that further 
time will result in a cordial unanimity of opinion, and 
of a complete exj^lanation of the phenomena attend- 
ing the mound." 


EOPLE who take a trip around town 
any where must have noticed a good 
many highly-colored bills, upon which is 
printed the somewhat profane sentence : 
" Orpheus in Hell." 

It has also been rumored about town that there is 
a mysterious secret connected with this placarded 
profanity. Some body has mentioned to some body 
else that Orjoheus was a man of family, and that his 
wife, by some means or other, got into h — 11. 

This slender information, bruiting about, has crea- 
ted a good deal of inquiry among married men. 
They are anxious to find out how Mrs. Orpheus was 
sent there ; and whether or not the same process is 
available at the present day. 

As to Orpheus' attempt to get the lady out of 
limbo, there is no curiosity among these same mar- 
ried men. None that I have heard of take the least 
interest in this part of the story. All they want to 
know is how she was gotten there. 

What bearing this curiosity has upon the condi- 
tion of the married men who entertain it, must be 

Orpheits in Hades. 

It may be well to state that no great amount of 
sympathy is expressed by these married men when 
they learn that the effort of Orpheus to get his wife 
out of h — 11 w^as an ignominious failure. 

To gratify the curiosity of these married men in 
regard to this affair, I will summarize its principal 
points : 

Orpheus w^as a young man who lived in Thrace, 
a good many centuries ago. He was a sentimental 
young man, who boarded wuth a widow, and who 
used to amuse himself by playing on a flute every 
night, after the rest of the boarders had retired. 

In this way he used to give voice to his otherwise 
unutterable melancholy, and the which he always 
addressed to the sweet stars. 

One night when he was tooting, in the tenderest 
manner, Le Sabre de Mon Pere — an air just then 
introduced — he was heard by a young seminary girl, 
named Eurydice. She was just seventeen, and full 
of gentle poesy. 

She, too, was afflicted with a profound melan- 
choly, which came she knew not whence. She 
often thought it would be so sweet to die, and be 
buried some where, w4th flowers over her grave, 
and have a nice young man come thither and weep 
over her untimely end. 

She read Byron, and went to all the ?natinees. 
To her a young man seemed the most perfectly 
splendid thing that ever w^as created. 

She heard the plaintive strains of Le Sah7'e de 
Mon Pere^ as they stole gently through the starry 


Walks About Chicago. 

night. They struck a responsive chord in her 
maiden heart. 

Suffice it that these two, drawn by irresistible 
sympathy, were not long in meeting and loving. 
An engagement followed, and then a wedding. 

It was a grand affair, and was held in public, in a 
church. A great many tickets were issued, and 
every body was invited. Hymen himself came over 
to attend the nuptials. It was a very gorgeous 
arrangement, and was fully reported at the time in 
the daily newspapers. The names and dress of the 
bridesmaids were all given ; and the bridal presents, 
which had been lent for the occasion by an accom- 
modating jeweller, were minutely described. 

In the way of a wedding it was a very big thing. 
The nujDtial night was one of the grandest and most 
interesting known. 

But, alas ! while on their wedding-tour, the lovely 
bride went out shopping one afternoon, and was 
bitten by a demnition snake. This afflicting event is 
thus beautifully alluded to by Mr. Ovid, who was, 
at that time, "doing" the Jenkins for a daily news- 
paper : 

— " Nam nupta per herbas 
Dum nova Naiadum turba comitata vagatur, 
Occidit, in talum serpentis, dente recepto." 

Nothing more thrilling was ever written. 

She died of the bite. What became of the snake 
is not on record. She was " snaked " out of exist- 
ence. As soon as she was dead she went to h — 11. 

In ancient times all women went thither. 

Orpheus in Hades. 


Is there any evidence that the modern custom, 
in this respect, is any different from the ancient 

Orpheus felt vexed about the matter. He was dis- 
turbed. It made him uneasy. At length he made 
up his mind to go after her. 

Having a relative who was a Radical member of 
Congress, he had no difficulty in getting letters of 
introduction to Pluto, and to a good man}^ intimate 
friends and relatives of congressmen in the infernal 
regions. Armed with these documents, Orpheus 
put his flute in his pocket and started on his journey, 
via Chicago, which was then, as now, the shortest 

His letter of introduction to Pluto secured him a 
warm and cordial reception. Pluto gave him a pass- 
port all through his dominions. He agreed that, if 
Orpheus should find his wife, he might take her out, 
on conditions. These conditions were, that she 
should follow her husband at a reasonable distance 
so as not to attract attention. Orpheus must not look 
back towards her ; because, if he did, every body 
would suspect what was taking place, and there 
would result a row. Pluto was averse to trouble. 
Since the Radicals were running things in the United 
States, they were getting a pretty strong majority in 
this section ; and they were liable to raise the 
d — euce at the slightest provocation. They were 
even talking, he observed, of impeaching him, and 
kicking him out, just because he had not given them 
all the brimstone contracts. 

Orpheus went in. It was rather a queer place. 


Walks About Chicago. 

The first person he met asked him what in h — 11 he 
wanted ? 

As he advanced farther and farther into the murky 
recesses, he was solicited with strange cries : 

"Mister, heouw will you swop jackknives ? " 

" Here's your Advance^ only three cents ! " 

" Here's yer only regilar copy of Hatfield's speech 
on the assassination I " 

And thus saluted by the infernal clamor, blinded 
by the smoke, and half-suftbcated by the sulphurous 
fumes, Orpheus penetrated the recesses of the Tar- 
tarean regions in search of his beloved Eurydice. 

Strange sights met his eyes ; and a clamor like 
that of Babel stunned his ears. 

At every step he was solicited to participate in 
some scheme — to share in some enterprise. Now 
he was asked to enter a partnership for the manufac- 
ture and sale of wooden nutmegs. Again, he was 
invited by former members of the Chicago Board of 
Trade to embark in buying long on sulphur. 

" Yer see," said one of the latter, " if the Rads 
carry the foil elections, there will be a rise in brim- 
stone, sure I" 

But the bereaved Orpheus passed on, heedless of 
the voices, and always bending every where his mel- 
ancholy glances in search of his beloved Eurydice. 

At length he reached the female department. It 
was in the nethermost depths of the dominions of the 
Plutonian monarch. 

Here he saw a singular spectacle. There were 
long streets, upon which were located gorgeous 
bazaars. The spirits of women wandered in and 

Orpheus ill Hades. 


out incessantly, pricing goods, and buying every 
thing that they desired. 

The torture consisted in the fact that each woman 
had to pay her own bills. 

In a distant corner of a large shop he saw his own 
Eurydice pricing some gorgeous silks. Her large 
blue eyes were filled with tender melancholy ; her 
soul was pervaded by a nameless terror. 

What thus terrified her was the anticipation that 
she alone must pay for the mountains of stuft' which 
she was selecting. 

Placing his flute to his lips, he commenced playing 
" I'll follow thee." As if caught by some invisible 
but powerful chain, Eurydiee dropped a superb 
watered silk and commenced to follow him who 
advanced before her playing upon his flute. 

It was in vain that salesmen along the route offered 
her the most magnificent of stuffs at reduced prices. 
Curiosity, the strongest motive in the human breast, 
impelled her forward. She wished to know who it 
was preceded her — him of the elegant carriage, the 
melancholy step, and the flute that gave utterance to 
plaintive murmurings. 

She never supposed that it was her own beloved 
Orpheus ; but imagined that it was a young man, 
with a heavenly moustache, who had once given her 
a seat on a street-car. 

[Meanwhile, Orpheus proceeded on towards the 
mouth of the infernal pit. His eyes, directed in 
front of him, were fixed upon the far future. He 
saw a beautiful cottage scene, in which Eurydice 
and himself were the centre pieces, and around 


Walks About CJiicago. 

which revolved and gamboled fair-haired, innocent 

Through the murky gloom there penetrated a ray 
of light. It was of the outer world. Already he 
saw dimly the yawning gates of the sulphurous re- 
gions. A burst of light poured through them, like 
the rays of the sun between two black clouds. 
Already he felt himself free, and by his side Eury- 
dice. Meanwhile his flute kept on : " Whistle and 
I'll come to you my lad," " Old Dog Tray," and 
" Home, Sweet Home." 

Suddenly there rang above the clamor of voices, 
and the roar of fires, a shriek. Orpheus recognized 
the sweet tones of his Eurydice. Forgetful of his 
promise not to turn his head, he looked back. 

He had just time to see a Chicago lawyer offering 
to procure a divorce for Eurydice in thirty days, 
without publicity, when 

He suddenly found himself impelled by some tre- 
mendous power thr'ough the ojDen gates, which 
closed behind him with a fierce, metallic clang. 

He was flung through space like a cannon-ball. 
When he recovered his full consciousness, he was 
back in Thrace, a lonely widower. 

And this is the story of Orpheus. It is a sad and 
instructive recital. Let married men then study and 
profit by its lessons. 

Its moral is this : If your wife gets snake-bitten 

and goes to the Plutonian domain don't follow 



INE evening there came a boy to me, 
whose form and features were indis- 
tinctly revealed in the obscurities of the 
I gloaming. Asking me my name, and 
getting an answer, he handed me a billet, and then 
ran swiftly away, and was in a moment lost in the 

The direction on the letter was evidently in a dis- 
guised hand. I opened the envelope with some curi- 
osity. It contained only these mysterious words : 

"This evening, at eight o'clock, at No. 208, street. 

Come without fail ! If you value your own manhood and 
freedom, come ! " 

At the appointed hour I went to the place indica- 
ted. It is a livery-stable, whose upper story is a 
vacant hall. I rapped at the side door, when it was 
opened a quarter of an inch. A muffled voice said, 
" Who ? " 

I gave my name, the door swung open just enough 
to admit me, and, when I entered, was closed with 
a sudden bang. 

Not yet knowing the purpose of the appointment, 


Walks About Chicago. 

I shuddered at the ominous crash of the closing 
door. I was not reUeved by hearing the crash 
followed by the sound of a bolt being shot into its 

The hall was dark, and I could not see the person 
of the janitor. A feeble radiance was visible at the 
head of the stairs. 

"Ascend," said a solemn voice at my side. 

Mechanically I obeyed. 

At the head of the staircase I found myself at the 
entrance of a long hall, at whose farther end there 
burned a dim light. Instinctively, and on tiptoe, I 
moved toward it. 

At the farther end there was a door, upon which 
I rapped softly. It was opened with the same pre- 
cautions as the street-door, and a muffled voice 
inquired, "Who.?" Again giving my name, I was 

I found myself in a square room, which was proba- 
bly used, when occasion required, as the supper- 
room of the dancing-hall. All the windows were 
covered with heavy cloth, so as to prevent any light 
from passing to the outside. 

There were present some twenty men. 

Each of them bore on his face a startled and sub- 
dued look. Some of them sat in chairs, in an atti- 
tude of profound melancholy. Upon the foces of 
many were traces of tears. 

Confounded at the mystery, the silence, the marks 
of agitation and distress, I could only stare about me 
in a bewildered manner. I was no longer alarmed ; 
for, in the faces of those present, I recognized many 

The Male Sorosis. 


whom I knew well, and who are among the best 
known and most respected citizens of Chicago. 

As no body spoke, I returned the silent pressure 
of the hand given me by a gentleman near the door, 

and quietly dropped into a seat. 


In giving publicity to the names and proceedings 
of this mysterious assembly, I do so against a pledge 
of secrecy which I made at the time ; but I believe 
this publicity to be demanded by the interests of 
society. The gentlemen who were present, and who 
exacted from me a promise of silence, will pardon 
this breach of confidence when they become aware 
that I act for the interests of humanity. 

Private rights and feelings must always give way 
when opposed to the public good. 

Therefore, without further preface, I shall relate, 
seriatim^ the proceedings of the assemblage. 

After a profound silence of half an hour, broken 
only by a deep sigh, or an occasional sob, a gen- 
tleman moved that Mr. D. P. Livermore act as mod- 

The motion being carried, Mr. Livermore was sup- 
ported by two gentlemen to the chair. 

Mr. Charles E. Leonard was made secretary. 

Dr. William E. Doggett was made treasurer. 

Dr. Charles Waterman and Mr. Witkowsky were 
made vice-i^residents. 

The organization having been effected, Judge Brad- 
well volunteered to state the objects of the meeting. 
Arising slowly, with a handkerchief to his eyes, he 
proceeded to speak in a broken voice. 

Walks Abottt Chicago. 

He said that all knew what was the purpose of the 
gathering. It was to take action with reference to 
deserted firesides and cheerless hearthstones. It was 
to take measures with reference to the performance 
of household duties and the care of children. It was 
to prepare themselves for the new duties which fate 
had thrust upon them in the way of keeping alight 
the fires uj^on the family altar. He closed in a broken 
voice, by asking that the afflicted chairman would 
favor them with his views. He sat down amidst a 
burst of tears on the part of his auditory. 

The chairman rose feebly to his feet. He began 
by sa}'ing that he hoped his hearers would extend 
their charity while listening to the words of a lonely, 
subdued, withered, old man. 

At this pathetic exordium, Mr. Leonard broke into 
an uncontrolable fit of weeping. 

Judge Bradwell rose to hope that the brother would 
restrain his emotion till they had heard from the 

The latter, with the tears coursing down his cheeks, 
went on with his remarks. He quoted the first line 
of the song, 

" I'm lon£lj since my mother died," 

and said that he would not detain his audience by 
lingering upon the more afflicting features of their 
situation. He felt very weak and humble, he said, 
and he dared not dwell upon the distressing features 
of their position. He thought the best way would 
be to proceed to practical measures. He would sug- 

The Male Sorosis. 


gest that committees be appointed to report at once, 
if possible. 

After some little discussion, the following commit- 
tees were appointed : 

On the Care of Children — Mr. Willard and Judge 

On Housework aiid Cookery — Mr. Wm. Wheeler 
and Dr. Carpenter. 

On Washing and Baking — Judge Bradwell and 
Mr. Leonard. 

On the Manage7nent of Servants — Dr. Water- 
man and Mr. Doggett. 

While the committees were absent, the gathering 
was addressed by various parties. Mr. Livermore 
said he had been teaching all his life that there is no 
hell. He was now not so certain that there is none. 
In any case he was not prepared to admit but what 
there ought to be one. If it were not too late, he 
was not sure but that he should conclude to accept 
Calvinism, and teach it, too. 

A gentleman said he thanked God that he believed 
there was a hell, and that reparation would occur in 
the future, if not in the present. He spoke freely of 
his lonely life, and of two of his children who are down 
with the chicken-pox, with no other care than such 
as he could afford them. He drew a feeling picture 
of the sufferings of the sweet innocents ; whereat 
there were blowing of noses, and other evidences of 
acute emotion all over the room. 

At this point the various committees returned, and 
asked further time. The chairman of the commit- 
tee on the Care of Children said they had only been 


Walks About Chicago. 

able to agree in recommending no more children. 
There were some other points upon which they 
wished to confer. An extension of time to the next 
meeting was granted to all the committees. 

Judge Bradvvell rose to propose, as a topic of dis- 
cussion at the next gathering, the following proposi- 
tion : Suicide as a legitimate means of escape from 
the miseries of our present condition. 

The chair said he felt as if nothing would suit him 
better than to hide himself in a lonely grave. Such 
a retreat would be but a little more lonely than his 
present one, and it would be free from a thousand 
annoyances which were threatening to drive him 

Mr. Leonard ventured to ask the prayers of the 
gathering to assist him. He was traveling life's path 
alone, and if prayer would not sustain his weary 
frame, he knew of nothing in life that would. He 
would like to die young, he said, in a melancholy 
voice, and here he gave way to a burst of emotion 
that choked his utterance, and that was met by sym- 
pathetic sobs from every part of the room. 

Dr. Carpenter rose to say that, had he died before 
he was born, he should have never been sufficiently 
grateful for the blessing. Had such a thing occurred 
to him, he would now thank heaven, every day on 
his knees, for having vouchsafed to him the mercy. 

Mr. Livermore sang, in a melting voice. 

She has gone from mj gaze Hke a beautiful star.'* 

which was listened to by the audience with a pro- 
found and sympathetic attention. 

The Male Sorosis. 


Mr. Leonard then repeated, in a melancholy and 
touching manner, the lines commencing, 

"What is home without a mother?" 

The audience could not conceal its emotion during 
the moving recital. Every eye poured forth a gush- 
ing tribute of tears. 

After some further discussion and remarks, the 
meeting broke up. Each member w^as pledged to 
secrecy as to the objects of the meeting and its exist- 
ence. A parting and moving benediction w^as pro- 
nounced over the gathering by Mr. Livermore. 

I have given the reasons why I have concluded to 
violate the pledge. Tiiat I shall be sustained by the 
public in so doing, is my firm belief. 

A few days later I received information, through a 
private channel, that another meeting was to be held 
in the rooms over the livery-stable. 

I went around when the evening came. There 
was no response to my knock. The door yielded to 
a push, and I entered. There was no light in the 
hall, and I had to grope my way to the farther end. 
The door of the room opened as I turned the knob. 
There was only a small kerosene lamp burning, and 
only one person present. 

We introduced ourselves. He said his name was 
Walker — Mr. Lewis Walker. 

We waited an hour, and nobody else came. Then 
we concluded that something had happened, and, 
blowing out the solitary kerosene lamp, we left. 


Walks About Chicago. 

Since that evening I have been put in possession 
of the reasons why several of the members of the 
former meeting were not present. This information 
has reached me in the way, mainly, of letters. These 
have come at different times, and have been deliv- 
ered in various ways. 

I will give a few of them. The first which was 
received came by a colored boy. He handed it to 
me with so much of an air of mystery that I ques- 
tioned him as to how he obtained the letter. He 
said he was passing by a house on the West side, 
w4ien he heard somebody say, " Hush ! " After 
looking around, he discovered a man's head, with a 
night-cap on it, peering cautiously from an upper win- 
dow. The voice said, " Take this letter as directed, 
for heaven's sake ! " Then something, wrapped in 
white paper, fell at his feet. Taking it up he found 
the letter which he handed me, a quarter of a dollar 
and a slate-pencil, which had been wrapped in so as 
weight the j^ackage. 

Full of curiosity, I opened the letter. It was as 
follows : 

"Under the Bed. 
"Sir : — Your publication of the proceedings of our meet- 
ing has ahnost ruined me. You probably meant it for the 
best, but you were mistaken. I have not been permitted 
to leave the house since. I write that you may explain to 
the others why I can not attend the next meeting. The 
Lord only knows how or when I can forward this. Ask 
the society to give me its prayers. I am a wretched, lonely 
prisoner in my own house. 

"Yours sadly, D. P. Livermore." 

The Male Sorosis. 


In the course of the same clay, there reached me an- 
other epistle. It was handed in by a gentleman who 
said he found it on the sidewalk. On the outside 
was the inscription : " The finder of this, if he be a 
Christian, is conjured, by his hope of salvation, to 
deliver it as addressed." It read as follows : 

" In the Attic. 
"Sir: — The unfortunate publicity given by you to our 
meeting may, as you said, be of public benefit, but it has 
been a serious damage to me. I was locked up here in less 
than two hours after jour article appeared. I am permit- 
ted to see nobody, and I am fed on bread and water. When 
I shall be liberated, I can not tell. I suffer every thing. 
Tell my friends I can not attend the meeting. Tell them 
my heart's in the cause, although I am now a persecuted 
martyr for opinion's sake. 

"Yours, in bond, Dr. Charles Waterman." 

The following communication was written on the 
inside of a half book-cover. The handwriting was 
very tremulous, and the surface of the page was 
blotted with tears : 

"In Bed. 

"I can't attend the meeting. I am confined to my bed 
with a broken head. There are also bruises, made by a 
mop-handle, all over my body. It all came from the pub- 
licity which your article produced. I am under lock and 
key, but I have bribed the servant girl to deliver this note. 
I suffer greatly in mind and body. Give me your prayers. 
"Feebly, but faithfully, 

" Charles E. Leonard." 

The following came through the post : 

" Chicago, Mondny. 
"Sir: — I take an opportunity to drop yon a line to say 
that I repudiate my connection with the meeting which 

Walks About Chicago. 

you reported in T/ie Times of yesterday. I have been pre- 
sented with certain — or curtain — reasons whereby I have 
been induced to withdraw my connection with that body. 
Please notify the society that I am no longer a member; 
and that I firmly believe in woman's power to enforce obe- 
dience to any laws which she may choose to enact. 
"I remain, sir, yours, 

"James B. Brad well." 

I have likewise received seven epistles, each of 
w^hich is from Dr. Carpenter, vs^ho desires me to 
announce that he is not the Dr. Carpenter reported 
as attending the meeting over the livery-stable. I 
take pleasure in making the announcement. 

As to the reasons why none of the other members 
were present at the next time of meeting, I know 
nothing. The letters which reached me, and which 
are above given, may serve as a hint to indicate what 
has become of those who have not been heard from. 
Pray heaven that their fate is no worse than confine- 
ment, or broken heads ! I respectfully invite the ori- 
sons of all sym^Dathetic souls, that their destiny may 
be ameliorated, and that they may issue, purged and 
strengthened, from their present tribulations. 


HERE is a very particular friend of mine 
who lives on The Avenue. It does not 
make any difference which avenue. In- 
quiry in this direction might prove dam- 

I may add that, last summer, in an extended trip 
of several months, and over half the continent, I met 
every where people from Chicago. I made the 
acquaintance of several hundred of them, and found 
that every one of them lived " on The Avenue." If 
any body ever met any body from Chicago that did 
not live " on The Avenue," then some one has had a 
different experience from what I have. 

Moreover, I never met any body any where who 
knew any body in Chicago, without it happened that 
the Chicago acquaintance lived " on The Avenue." 
People whom one meets on the cars, in steamers, on 
horseback, or on foot, in any part of the globe, who 
are coming on a visit to Chicago, are invariably going 
to see somebody who lives " on The Avenue." 

The Avenue of Chicago is enormously extensive, 
and the number of people in Chicago who are on it;, 
is marvelous. 


Walks About Chicago. 

My friend who lives on The Avenue — it is neither 
Blue Island nor Alihvaukec Avenue — sent for me 
last Monday night. He is a commission merchant 
on Water Street, like almost every body else in Chi- 
cago. He is a man of family — his own — and is 
aged about forty years. 

His note asking me to come up was in haste, and 
was very unlike the usual clear, business-like chirog- 
raphy of my friend. The letters were stranded here 
and there along the lines, as though they were a 
large washing hung out to dry, and were agitated by 
a high w^ind. 

I went up at once. Mrs. Brown admitted me, and 
bore a solemnity upon her face like unto that of a 
funeral. In response to my inquiries she groaned 
portentously, and said nothing. She led me to 
Brown's room, opened the door, and then went 

I was horrified at what met my vision. My hith- 
erto staid and respected friend sat in an arm-chair, 
in his shirt-sleeves, with his feet in a bucket of hot 
water. One of his eyes was severely in mourning, 
and shut tight. His nose had grow^n bulbous, like a 
prize pear, and was of a mixed color, in w'hich 
patches of fiery red and deep pur^Dle alternated. One 
of his ears had a patch over it ; and several black- 
and-blue places revealed themselves on his bald and 
once shiny and benevolent pate. 

His right arm was done up in bandages, and car- 
ried in a sling. His lips were swollen out enor- 
mously, and in a way that brought his mouth half 

How to ^uit Smoking. 


way around to his left ear. A long strip of court- 
plaster extended across Vxis cheek. 

"For God's sake, Brown, what's the matter?" 
exclaimed I, as I took in the fearful appearance of 
one whom I knew to be high up in a lodge of 
Good Templars that meets at the Washingtonian 

"Matter!" replied the bruised spectacle, in a 
voice that seemed to percolate through tortuous 
labyrinths — " matter ! you're the matter ! That d — d 
Stmday Thnes is what's the matter ! " 

''''The Sunday Times! What! That Christianly 
and poetic production the cause of such devastation 
and ruin as this No, sir ! Never! Never!" 

"Yes, The Sunday Ti?nes^ I tell you!" 

" But — impossible ! " 

" Impossible, be d — d ! You just listen now, and 
I'll tell you ! " 

I seated myself, and thereupon Brown proceeded 
to unfold the following astounding tale : 

" You know I'm a great smoker. We fellows 
who supported Grant rather pride ourselves on 
imitating that marvelous leader. So, in trying to 
imitate that great man, I got into the habit of smok- 
ing about twenty-five cigars a day. 

" Mrs. Brown, of course, didn't like it. She turned 
up her nose whenever I pulled out a cigar. Some- 
times it made her sick, and then it made her faint. 
But I noticed one thing, my boy, and that was, that 
whenever Jinks or Jobbers came in with a cigar, she 
always said she was so fond of cigars. 

" Well, the old woman got sick, and faint, and 


Walks About Chicago, 

snuffed around the curtains, and said ' faugh ! * every 
time she came near me ; and I made up my mind it 
was no use. You can always do the same. When 
a woman gets after you, you may just as well come 
down. She'll fetch you in time, see if she don't. 
A woman will just outworry the devil, when she 
gets started after any thing. 

" Last Sunday morning one of the boys read 

The Su7tday Times dern the infernal sheet ! 

Among other things, he read an article on tobacco, 
by some M.D. of the name of Johnson, or Jackson. 
Here's the paper. You look along towards the last 
of that tobacco article, and read what he says about 
an antidote to smoking." 

Looking through the article in question, I found 
and read the following : 

"I would suggest, however, to those desiring to break 
the habit, the following prescription : Take, in the morn- 
ing, about three drachms of whisky, and smoke none; in 
the afternoon repeat the dose; continue this three weeks: 
and if the habit of smoking be not broken, I have missed 
mj mark. You will, probably, always like the flavor of a 
good cigar; but, with some firmness, you can easily over- 
come the desire. The tobacco being withdrawn, the whisky 
substitutes itself and dissipates the desire to smoke." 

"Yes, that's it," said Brown. "The old woman 
had been worryin' me, and I made up my mind I 
might as well quit. The remedy didn't seem a bad 
one to take. By and by I slipped out, went round 
to a corner-saloon, and took the prescription of three 
drams, at intervals of about ten miimtes. 

" The thing worked beautiful. I didn't want to 

How to ^uit Smoking, 


smoke, but I did want another dram, and I took an- 
other. This made me kind o' thirsty, and so I took 
one more. By this time I felt sorry for some 
seedy chaps sitting around the stove, and I invited 
'em all up to take a drink. I afterwards took a 
drink, at my expense, with the bar-keeper, who 
seemed a mighty nice sort of a man. 

" I don't remember very clearly what happened 
after this. I think I proposed to a chap with a big 
moustache to go and take a buggy-ride up The Ave- 
nue. I think somebody got a buggy, and we got in, 
after taking another dram to keep me from wanting 
to smoke in public. 

" They say that I acted wild on The Avenue. 
Every body was going to church, it seems, and I 
must have played the very thunder ! All I remem- 
ber about it is, that last night, about seven o'clock, 
I waked up and found myself in the sawdust in the 
armory. My hat w^as gone ; my coat was torn in 
two, up the back ; my shirt-front ripped into rib- 
bons ; both pockets turned inside out ; my money 
gone ; and myself the bruised and broken reed which 
you see before you. 

" I won't stop to tell you of my frightful horror 
during the night. This morning I was thrust into 
a hole called a ' bull pen,' with about seventy-five 
of the worst looking he and she loafers in Chicago. 
I spare you my agony upon being called out in full 
view of the justice, police, reporters, and public. I 
was accused of disorderly conduct. Seven policemen 
swore that they had chased me for over three hours. 
They said I drove over four children, and dogs with- 


Walks About Chicago, 

out number ; that I lost my hat, and drove bare- 
headed, giving an Indian war-whoop every fifteen 
seconds ; that several runaways occurred in conse- 
quence of my furious driving and yelling ; and that, 
when finally caught, I fought and kicked so that they 
had to club me severely before I would submit and 
go to the lock-up. 

"I was fined $ioo, and was called a hardened 
reprobate by the corpulent old hypocrite who tried 
me. I gave him a check for the amount, which a 
policeman went out with, and, when he came back, 
I was released. 

You see, all this has happened on account of that 
infernal Sunday Tujies. I want you to go to the 
office and stop the cursed thing. If I ever can find 
that fellow Johnson, or Jackson, I'll mellow his coun- 
tenance jest as sure as my name's Timothy Brown — 
see if I don't ! Dern his everlasting skin, teeth, eyes, 
and toe-nails ! " 

" What did Mrs. Brown say when you returned?" 
asked I, as Brown concluded his lugubrious narra- 
tion w4th a ponderous sigh. 

" What did she say } Ker-r-i-s-t ! Wh-e-e-w ! " 
And this was all I could get out of Brown as to what 
was said by his martyred helpmeet. 

I comforted poor old Brown as wxll as I could ; 
but I did not tell him that there is a very material 
difference between " three drachms " and " three 
drams" of whisky. Some other time I shall tell 
him ; and, meanwhile, I invoke the prayers of all 
kindly souls in his behalf, and to shield him from 
the righteous indignation of that deeply-injured and 
awfi'.lly austere matron, Mrs. Timothy Brown. 



MAN who was around town much during 
a certain week, must have noticed that, 
during the fore part of the week, there 
was a good deal of talk about Duffy and 
Bussy ; and during the latter part of the week, a good 
deal of talk about Bussy and Duffy. 

Bussy and Duffy are not names remarkable for 
resonance, symmetry, or style. They are not the 
kind that usually go down to posterity. They go 
down the stream of time, it is true, but they will go 
down, as some ships go down — that is, to the 

During the fore part of the week, Duffy was a great 
man. There w^ere odds in favor of the popular 
notion that Mr. Duffy was a greater man than Mr. 
Bussy. These odds took a tangible form — some- 
what like $ioo to $75. That is, stamps had it that 
Duffy was the heavier sockdollager of the two sock- 

It was observable that, after Wednesday, the 
weathercocks of public opinion, which had hitherto 
all set persistently Duffy-wards, all pointed rigidly 


Walks About Chicago. 

Bussy-wards, as if they had never pointed otherwise 
in all their lives. How the currents of general esti- 
mation all thus reversed their direction, and set the 
vanes to pointing contrariwise, is a matter worthy of 
description — of speculation — of research. 


On a certain Wednesday morning of that notable 
week — week ever notable as the Bussy-Duffy week — 
much people came out of the mist and centred about 
the grounds where a certain railroad has not yet 
erected large and surpassing passenger and ticket 
buildings. Variety was observable among this crowd. 
Many looked as if fresh from the arms of sleep. A 
diffused redness of eyes bore witness to vigils, and 
mayhap of undue stimulant. There was a noticea- 
ble prevalence of breadth of chest. There was like- 
wise a fashionable style of countenance, in the which 
there were evidences of knuckle inundations that had 
carried away nose-bridges. Under-jaw was there in 
force. There was likewise much large mouth, some- 
what of an open carpet-sack order. 

One who looked over this crowd, that had trickled 
from out the surrounding mist, could not but reflect 
upon the vast amount of indignant, and deceived, and 
outraged wifehood, that existed here and there all 
over Chicago. What remonstrances must have 
poured from wifely lips when masculine married- 
ness timidly asserted its intention of going to the 
prize-fight ! What suspicions must have grown in 

Mill on the Prairie. 


virtuous bosoms when fater familias arose at the 
unseasonable hour of six A.M., and asserted that 
urgent business required an early advent into town ! 

One prominent atom of social respectability told 
his astounded partner that he was obliged to go out 
on an early train to " inspect a mill." Oh, woman ! 
even the question of Bussy versus Dufty could not be 
discussed without exposing you to man's deceit and 

Large professional and otherwise respectability 
had assembled in the ci'owd, and with its high noses, 
and soft, slender hands, toned down the tendency to 
flatness in snouts, and to bony hugeness in fists, of 
the dominant majority. One moving among the 
crowd, and familiar with the faces of noted charac- 
ters, could readily discover Brothers Moody and 
Fanvell, Reverends Hatfield and Ryder, Judges Van 
Buren and Wilson, and many other prominent phi- 
lanthropists, clergymen, and judges, as among the 
more noted of those who, from motives of delicacy 
or lack of time, had concluded not to be present. 

Nearly all the crowd, being in no particular hurry, 
determined to wait and ride out on the cars, in place 
of going a-foot. 


And it came to happen that, about high twelve or 
a little thereafter, some thousand or more people, on 
this particular Wednesday, formed themselves into a 
hollow square, wdiich, by measurement with a tape- 
line, from a reporter with a note-book, in one corner, 


Walks About Chicago. 

to a gentleman with a broken nose, in the next cor- 
ner, was four and twenty feet. Dense to extreme 
were the Hving walls of this square. Looking from 
the centre outwards, there seemed four floors of hu- 
man heads — floors which began some where in an 
inextricable jumble of legs and boots, and rose gradu- 
ally outward like an inclined plane. Somewhat 
resembled these four walls the approaching sides of a 
a hopper in a grist mill — hence, perhaps, why the 
central operations of the former are called a " mill." 
So evenly rose these walls or floors of heads, and so 
dense were they, that, with but little caulking, they 
would have shed water like a roof. 

Close adjoining was a hay-stack. Sheltered under 
its lee was an object at which a small crowd stared 
curiously. It bore some resemblance to a man — a 
sick man. Eyes of a dull, milky color ; countenance 
ashen ; and bones of jaw and cheek seeming on the 
point of bursting through the skin. As if agueish or 
suffering, the figure lay with it knees drawn up to 
its chin, and hugged an old overcoat about its form, 
as if to accumulate a little warmth. A heavy fur 
cap was drawn over its head ; and it rested limp and 
nerveless, chewing straws abstractedly, as if life were 
an unwelcome reality. Poor devil ! 

A little later, and over the heads of the hollow 
square there comes a wobbling of what looks on its 
passage like a dead cat flung vigorously upward by 
the tail. It is an old fur cap, as is seen when it 
lights. An irregular commotion, cleaving its way 
through a corner of the hollow square, like a slightly 
submerged log being pushed up stream. Tremen- 

Mill on the Prairie. 


dous hi-hi's, and there is evacuated centreward the 
limping figure of the hay-stack. His head reveals 
hair close-cropped, coming dow^n to a triangular 
point on his forehead, like a colossal savs^-tooth. Ears 
immense, mouth an enormous gash. He shambles 
across to his corner in a gait which is a mixture of limp 
in both feet and a dog-trot. Mainly dog-trot, how- 
ever ; for his head bowing awkward acknowledg- 
ments to chorused hi-hi's, his slouched shoulders and 
thrust-out arms make him resemble a dog essaying 
a trot on his hind legs. He seats himself. It is the 
agueish invalid of the hay-stack. It is the then less- 
renowned, but now the more-renowned Bussy. 

More semblance of dead cat flopping into ring, 
more convolutions and wriggles in human wall, 
more hi-hi's, and the then more-renowned, but now 
less-renowned, Dufty. Not a beauty is Mr. Dufly, 
any more than his vis-a-vis^ Mr. Bussy. But a dif- 
ference, nevertheless. Less slouch, less mouth, less 
ears. A long face, short upper li]^, prominent nose, 
some front teeth some where lost on some former 
similarity, close-cropped hair, mild gray eyes, a skin 
with a dash of color in it, and a semi-anxious, semi- 
equable expression — such, Duffy. 

Adjoining to and hovering about Mi*. DufTy, a 
Colossus, like an elephant reared to the perpendicu- 
lar, and clad fashionably. In the vast shoulders, 
bull-neck, little, cunning eyes, and small nose, one 
recognizes the giant bruiser, McCoole. Diagonally 
across, and doing the planetary about the invalid of 
the hay-stack, is a good-looking, medium-sized gen- 
tleman, in full suit of black, with plug-hat and natty 


Walks About Chicago. 

cane. His back-hair is elaborately ^Darted ; his chest 
is round and full ; his nose immense ; his eyes small, 
black, and piercing ; his countenance full, pleasant, 
and open. He looks like a foreman in a machine 
shop. It is Joe Coburn, who supposes himself the 
foremost mauler in existence. Some other lesser 
lights in parti-colored shirts, and the outlines of the 
picture are sufficiently complete. 


They all feel sorry for poor Bussy. He looks like 
an old man in feeble health. He sits bent forward, 
with his clas|Ded fingers holding his knees. Duffy 
sits erect, calmly surveying the crowd, and curiously 
his opponent. Bussy looks furtively at Duffy and 
the crowd, like a penned dog reconnoitering for a 
hole through which, with dropped tail, he may 
escape imagined turpentine, tin-kettles, and mal- 

There is a jDeeling of old coats. Then old pants 
follow suit. Then knitted vests, ragged undershirts, 
and multifarious underwear ; and Bussy and Duffy 
stand in spiked shoes and tight-fitting drawers. 
Bussy still slouched, Duffy erect. 

Some body says, " Time." In a fraction of a 
secojid two figures, naked to the hips, confront each 
other in the centre of the four-cornered " ring." The 
agueish figure of the invalid of the hay-stack has 
suddenly become transformed. The slouch has left 
his shoulders. Well-balanced on his legs, he stands 

Mill on the Prairie, 


with expanded chest, and head well thrown back. 
All over his arms and breast appear knobs of muscle. 
Poised like a statue, he seems to have suddenly be- 
come the impersonation of power. A smile just lifts 
his upper lip enough to disclose a row of white, even 
teeth. Into his dull, milky eyes there seems flowing 
a white, sinister light. 

Duff}', the favorite, stands easily. His body is 
round, his limbs slender. He seems more like a 
greyhound than a bulldog — built more for the chase 
than for conflict. With his longer arms and taller 
form, he seems to possess an advantage over his 
shorter opponent. 

Their eyes are fastened each upon the other. The 
naked arms work unceasingly, and the two bodies 
move about as if seeking some vulnerable approach. 
A moment later and two arms shoot forward like 
lightning ; then a clinch, a fierce tugging and inter- 
twining, and the two forms go down together. Two 
men rush from each of two corners ; two pick up 
and carry one-half of the struggling mass to one cor- 
ner, and two take the remainder to the other. Seated 
each upon the knee of his second, the panting con- 
testants gaze eagerly at each other. Two bright-red 
spots have suddenly flashed upon the ashen forehead 
of Bussy. Dufly sits unmarked and calmly compla- 
cent. The battle is opened. In thirty seconds it 
will be resumed. 

Walks About Chicago, 


Thirty minutes have passed. Upon Duffy there 
are no marks save here and there upon his body red 
spots, which look as if blistered. Bussy's left eye is 
entirely closed. A dark, pulpy mass overhangs it 
like a cliff. Blood trickles from his cheek-bones, his 
mouth, and neck. 

Despite this, Bussy is not hideous — not even 
repellant. As he faces his antagonist, his single 
eye blazes with a metallic light, and his face be- 
comes suffused with a determination that transfigures 
him. He is no more a pummeled, unsightly bruiser, 
but a hero. Amidst the foam and blood on his 
swollen lips, their plays a smile, a reflex of endur- 
ance, which lightens and softens his whole face like 
a halo. 

Hereabouts lies the savage fascination of the scene. 
Curious as it may seem, there is just a touch of the 
sublime about that battered, swollen face, with its 
blazing eye, and lambent smile touching up the dis- 
torted and foam-colored lips. 

Absorbed in the antagonism of the contest, the 
spectators feel no j^ity for the tremendous punish- 
ment. It may even be believed that the men do not 
feel it themselves at the moment. In the excitement, 
the fierce struggles, the alternating hopes and fears, 
pain is forgotten. 

While there was a dash of the sublime, there was 
a touch of the pitiful. It was at the moment when, 
torn from each other's grasp and seated upon the 
knees of their seconds, each turned panting to see 

Mill on the Prairie, 


how the other stood the battle ; and one could read 
the plainly-expressed hope that the terrific struggle 
which had just ended had also finished the endurance 
of the other. Each time, before the veil of blood 
was wiped away from the eye of Bussy, he would 
interrogate the condition of his opponent for signs of 
exhaustion. And how many times during the hard 
struggle did Dufty scan with eager anxiety the oppo- 
site corner for some evidence that the contest was 
about ended ! 


All this is about a couple of unknown Celtic scala- 
wags, who, a month before, were nameless, and whom 
respectability, a fortnight after, had forgotten. And 
yet these two Celtic nobodies were for an hour trans- 
figured into glowing heroes. To all of which the 
many very respectable gentlemen present — not the 
roughs, thieves, or bruisers — will bear willing or 
unwilling witness. 

P. S. — The writer wishes to add, that an attempt 
to get up a chicken-match out of the fouls of the 
above alluded to prize-fight, was not a success. 


TOOK a walk around, the other after- 
noon, to a matinee at one of the popular 
places of amusement. It makes no par- 
ticular difterence which one. Two ma- 

tinees are good deal like two peas. After you get 
in you can't tell them apart. 

I went around early to get a seat. Found several 
hundred young women and several men, who had 
gone around early for the same reason. The en- 
trance was densely packed with a crowd whose tail 
extended out into the street. 

I reached there just at the same moment that did 
a sweet young girl with a very white and pink com- 
plexion, a "follow-me-fellers" over her shoulder, and, 
on her lips, carnation. She gazed at the dense crowd 
before her, and then remarked to a gentleman with a 
dyed moustache, " Watch me go through there, will 
you, hoss.^" 

The lovely creature squared herself, lowered her 

head, advanced her elbows and went in. I 

availed myself of the opportunity, and followed in 
her wake. 

Going to the Matinee. 


It was delightful, especially the remarks we heard. 
One superb being proposed to mash the nose of my 
conductress. Another exquisite thing announced her 
intention to " go for " my leader. Another gentle 
angel wanted to know, with a good deal of asperity, 
who the h — 11 she was crowding ? 

As we progressed slowly ahead, all the women 
who were at the rear of the crowd fell in behind us, 
and pushed forward. The mass then presented the 
singular spectacle of a solid body through whose cen- 
time there ran a current. So soon as the head of this 
current reached the door, the sides of the mass began 
to form currents towards the street. These two cur- 
rents, meeting at the street, joined, and began to flow 
down the middle again, towards the door. Three 
times did I find myself at the door, and as often in 
the street. The currents were resistless ; the jam 
was tremendous. 

By and by the door opened and we went in. There 
was some tall running. The exhibition afforded of 
pedal extremities was like a picture in some modern 
flash publication. They were quite as numerous, 
and a good deal more of them were shown. Red 
flannel under-skirts are still worn, but very short. 

The agility and other things displayed by the 
ladies in getting over the backs of seats, and locat- 
ing themselves in the best places, were singularly 

After awhile we got seats — that is, about half of 
us. The other half of us stood up. Among those 
who stood up were about thirty engaging gentlemen 
with dyed moustaches and modest faces. These gen- 


Walks About Chicago, 

tlemen arranged themselves around the outer aisles 
in a position fronting the ladies. 

They appeared to be young men of great wealth. 
They had immense diamonds, and watch-chains of 
fabulous dimensions. Evidently they were, some of 
them, from the Lake Superior mining country, for I 
heard them talk about "coppering" something. An- 
other of the aristocratic youths was evidently a theo- 
logical student, for he said something about having 
had a " call." 

It was about an hour and a half before the play 
began. The interim was occupied by the ladies in 
a discussion of their own little affairs, and in criti- 
cisms upon each other. There was a tremendous 
clatter, in which one could hear nothing distinctly, 
unless addressed to him. I caught scraps of remarks, 
to-wit : 

" Is them diamonds on " 

" You bet they ain't. Where 

" Where d'ye suppose she got her good clothes, 

if she " 

" Oh, my ! just look at that hat 

" Painted, of course " 

" Lives on Fourth Avenue, with " 

"Jim thinks I'm out on the West side 

" Went to the office and told John I was going 

out to " 

"Wouldn't have Mr. Johnson know I'm here 
for " 

" See that feller making signs to me with ^* 

" Keeps a faro-bank on Dearborn 

Going to the Matinee, 


"If you please, ma'am, just keep your elbow 

out " 

" The h— 11 you say " 

" Couldn't meet you last night, because my hus- 
band BUS " 

"At eight o'clock to-morrow night, on the corner 
of State and " 

" My ! what singular ladies these Chicago ^" 

"Ain't it jolly? Our folks don't suspect " 

" Billy's gone back on " 

" Come around to-morrow evening. John is going 
to " 

And thus the concert went on, mingled with ten 
thousand allusions to dry goods, laces, poplin, illu- 
sion, and other things which were Greek or Chal- 
daic to an unsophisticated person, who, like myself, 
had never served an apprenticeship in a dry-goods 

The aristocratic young men with dyed moustaches 
were particularly modest. No one of them whom I 
saw ever stared more than one woman out of coun- 
tenance at a time. Some of the women didn't 

stare out of countenance worth a cent. It was about 
an even thing when some of the latter and the youths 
with the dyed moustaches got to looking at each 
other. Whichever yielded first, usually did so with 
a modest wink at the other. 

As a whole I was very much impressed with the 
matinee. The ladies were remarkably beautiful. 
They were dressed in a manner gorgeous beyond 
all description. Their elbows were of a universal 
sharpness, of which I have patterns of one hundred 


Walks Abotit Chicago, 

and eighteen different ones on my body. They were 
as modest in their conversation as in their dress. 
The bearing of many of them was as modest as their 
conversation. They were calculated to impress a 
beholder very highly. 

The perfumery was elegant. I recognized twenty- 
seven different kinds of French extracts ; eleven varie- 
ties of old Bourbon ; ninety-four of Trix ; sixteen of 
onions ; besides a variety of others, such as cloves, 
sherry, cardamon, lager, tobacco, cheese ; and exclu- 
sive of seventeen other species whose character I 
could not recognize. 

The matinees are fine things. There should be 
more of them. They cultivate feminine muscle. 
They develop woman's love of the drama, her pow- 
ers of observation, and numerous other qualities too 
numerous to mention. I did not observe any hus- 
bands present with their wives. Nor did I notice 
any wives present with their husbands. 

In fine, the 77iati7zee is a res jnagna. There should 
be one every afternoon. It should be some time after 
noon. The longer the better. 


N a family up town there is an individual 
known among his more intimate friends 
as the "Old Man." The Old Man is 
"rising" of seven years old, and is a 
regular old patriarch in the way of knowing things. 
The other day Madame, who is the Old Man's ma- 
ternal relative, came down stairs. As Madame 
stepped into the room, the Old Man had just lighted 
a cigar, and was essaying his maiden smoke. He 
sat upon the sofa, with his legs crossed like an old 
veteran. His paternal relative's broad-brimmed hat 
covered his head, and he held his cigar gracefully 
between his first and second fingers. 

Madame, being sensible, did not faint, or "go for" 
her slipper, but took a book and sat down to watch 
operations. The Old Man had watched for her 
appearance dubiously ; but her unconcern reassured 
him, and he queried, after a vast puff of smoke, and 
with immense nonchalance, " What's your opinion 
of rats?" 

And the Old Man was happy. He discussed the 
weather with Madame as if he were an old gentle- 
man who had called in to chat over the affairs of the 


Walks About Chicago. 

neighborhood. Madame replied indifferently, as if 
absorbed in her book, but all the while keeping the 
corner of an eye upon the veteran on the sofa. 

The Old Man progressed swimmingly. Pussy 
was called up, and disgusted with the phenomenon 
of an unexpected quart of smoke in her eyes and 
nostrils. "Bob," a female kitchen mechanic, was 
invited in by the Old Man to witness how he could 
" smoke through his nose." He hauled up a chair 
and raised his ten-inch legs clear to the top of the 
back, did this Old Man. And all the time he smoked 
with the coolness of a Turk. 

Life opened up roseately before the Old Man. A 
future revealed itself through the smoke, which was 
half cigar and half meerschaum. A cigar was to be 
smoked every morning after breakfast. A negotia- 
tion was effected with Madame wherewith to buy a 
cigar at recess. In the evening, a pipe. A pipe 
which he was to color. A beautiful, white pipe, 
which was to be purchased by the sale of a ball, two 
colored buttons, and a kite-string. Never was there 
such a future or such a pipe. 

And in thus dreaming, and planning, and chatting, 
the Old Man smoked — now sending a current from 
his nostrils, now driving it out with a furious blast, 
and anon puffing it forth in detached cloudlets. 

The cigar was smoked to the very lip, and then 
the Old Man thought he would try a pipe. Taking 
down the meerschaum, he scraped it out scientific- 
ally with his jackknife, filled it, and resumed his seat 
on the sofa, and lifted his ten-inch legs to the chair- 
back. During all this time the Old Man's face was 

The Old Man's Smoke. 


as serene, his smile as genial, and his talk as agree- 
able, as if earth were affording its highest enjoy- 

It was an ancient pipe, with much nicotine lurk- 
ing in its tubular communications. Occasionally 
some of the nicotine invaded the Old Man's tongue, 
whereat he grimaced somewhat — nothing more. 

The meerschaum was half-smoked out. Once or 
twice, in the course of absorbing converse, it went 
out, but was at once relighted with many a reson- 
ant puff. The pipe was half-smoked, and then there 
came a single, pearly drop of perspiration creejoing 
out from the Old Man's hair upon his forehead. A 
moment later another stole from some covert and 
stood upon his chin. About this moment, something 
seemed suddenly to strike the Old Man. A cheer- 
ful remark was abruptly broken off in the centre, and 
the Old Man suddenly stopped as if to reflect upon 
something unexpected — somewhat as if he had just 
remembered that his note was over-due, or he had 
suddenly recollected that his two children had died 
five minutes before, or that he was to be hung in 
three minutes, and had entirely overlooked the fact. 

He took down his legs from the chair, laid aside 
the broadbrim, and started to put up the pijDe. 

" Why don't you finish your smoke ? " inquired 
the Madame. 

"I — b'lieve — I've — smoked — 'nuff," replied the 
Old Man, as he walked with an uneven step to put 
up the pipe. When he came back the drops of per- 
spiration upon the chin and forehead were rein- 
forced by hosts of others. A waxy whiteness had 


Walks About Chicago. 

taken iDOSsession of the apiDroaches to the Old Man's 
mouth. He stared vaguely, as if looking through a 

Two minutes later, all there was of the veteran 
on the sofa was a limp figure, white as snow, with 
head bound in wet towels, and an attendant with a 
slop .dish. A little later, and the Old Man lay 
white and still, with fixed eyes, and a scarcely per- 
ceptible breathing. It was hours before the Old 
Man left his bed, and when he did he moved about 
as do all very old men who find the weight of years 
a burden. 

The Old Man has not yet traded his ball, buttons 
and kite-string for a meerschaum. 

I have been a good deal surprised that the Art 
Journal^ or the art critics of the daily newspapers, 
have taken no notice of the curtain at Aiken's Thea- 
tre. It is said that Aitken, the manager of the Crosby 
Art Gallery, has offered an immense sum for this 
painting, with the view of hanging it up in the place 
hitherto occupied by the To Se7nite. Several con- 
noisseurs, from New York, and one virtuoso, from 
Paris, have been to see the curtain, and have offered 
a fabulous price for this work of art. 

The painting itself is the " Lame Washerwoman." 
It represents a scene by a mill-pond. In the fore- 
ground is a stairway leading to the lower proscenium 
box. Upon this stairway stands a beautiful woman 
with club-feet. Her right limb is crooked, and is 
bent so as to lie upon the step above the one on which 

The Cold Victuals Contest, 8i 

rests her other foot. This charming creature gives 
the name to the painting. 

Immediately in front of her, and on the shore of 
the pond, is a new-fashioned drying machine, upon 
whi(3h is hung an immense washing. Lying upon 
the ground, near the machine, is a sick man, about 
thirty feet long. 

The pond is fine. Nearest the spectator the watei 
is a cerulean blue. In the middle distance it is a 
vivid green. On the further side it is a violet yellow. 
Beyond the pond is a lofty mountain, of an exquisite 
variety of green, blue, yellow, and pink. This moun- 
tain is so arranged that one who stands on this side 
the pond, or at the foot of the mountain, can look 
down on its top and see the bottom of an immense 
crater of an extinct volcano. 

The sky which overtops the mountain is of a 
superb green and an elegant yellow. There is a 
mill at the foot of the mountain, which is a beautiful 

Mr. Aiken is justly proud of this magnificent work 
of art. It is said that, when off duty, he spends his 
whole time sitting in an orchestra chair in front of 
this curtain, absorbed in admiration of its grandeur. 

The cold victuals contest rages with unabated 
vigor. The writer is a member of the Relief Com- 
mittee of the Young Men's Christian Association. 
He begs leave to report through The Sunday Times^ 
that his labors, during the past week, were of the 
most encouraging character. He is of the opinion 


Walks About Chicago, 

that much good is being done to sinners. He visited 
during the past week thirty-four destitute famihes. 
Many refreshing seasons were enjoyed, and many 
souls were led to think of the exceeding sinfulness 
of sin. Many interesting incidents occurred. The 
writer begs leave to report a few of these, as showing 
the encouraging character of the work upon which 
the society is engaged : 

No. I. Found a widow woman with four children, 
living in a filthy alley. No furniture or provisions. 
Woman sick ; children crying for bread. Told 
woman who I was. She felt very grateful. Asked 
her if she knew she was a sinner. Said she did not 
know ; she was too sick, she said, to think much 
about it. Asked her if she believed in the worm 
which dieth not, and the fire which is not quenched. 
Said her children were troubled with worms a good 
deal ; and would like fire that wouldn't go out ; hers 
had gone out a week ago. Groaned over her sinful- 
ness, but, after further talk with her, concluded to 
relieve her necessities. Gave her a tract entitled 
" The Bread of Life." 

No. 5. A saloon, with many awful, sinful men, 
playing auction-pitch for whisky. Stepped in, and, 
looking upon them severely, I asked, " Is Jesus here ? " 
Barkeeper said he hadn't seen any such man, and 
wanted to know if he run with Long John engine. 
Groaned, and went out. 

No. 13. Two young women living in the upper 
portion of a dilapidated house on Wells Street. 
Both sick. Said they had sent all their clothes to 
tlieir uncle's. Had no money, medicine, food, or 

The Cold Victuals Contest. 


friends Asked them if they knew they had souls 
to be saved or lost. One of them said she wasn't 
certain. The other said she didn't give a d — n 
either way. What she wanted was some food and 
a doctor. Gave her a tract entitled the "Loaves and 
Fishes." Gave the other another tract called " The 
Great Physician." Groaned, and left. 

No. 27. Crippled Irish soldier and four small chil- 
dren. He said he had no pension. Was out of 
work, sick, and discouraged. His wife had lately 
died, and left his children without any body to care 
for them. Had no provisions in the house. He 
hated, he said, to ask for relief, but it was that or 
starvation. I asked him if he had experienced that 
change which passeth all understanding. He said 
he was without any experience in change, or bills of 
any size whatever. Asked him if he did not know 
that he was a reprobate. He said he didn't know ; 
that he hadn't bate any thing lately, barrin' a bit ov 
a discusshun wid fists he had wid a naybor afore 
bein' taken sick. I asked him if he didn't know that 
by nature all men are totally depraved, and that 
he'd be damned to all eternity if he didn't repent. 
He said he thought not. He wouldn't go to the bad 
place, he'd be d — d if he would. Gave him a tract 
called " The Smoking Flax." Groaned, and left. 

From these instances, it will be seen that the work 
of relief goes on. The following is a summary of 
the writer's distributions during the last month : 

Tracts, - 400 
Hymn-books, 125 
Testaments, - -- -- -- - 

84 Walks About Chicago. 

Loaves bread, l 

Petticoats (second-hand), ^ona 

Cords wood, None 

Tons coal, None 

Pairs boots, None 

Pairs shoes, None 

Underclothing, None 

More tracts, - -- -- -- - ^4° 




ACKINAW, the refrigerating Mecca of 
the lakes, made its appearance the second 
day after we left Chicago. 

At first sight, it seems neither so large 
nor so well-built as the Garden City. In these re- 
spects it even falls somewhat behind Milwaukee. 

Upon the heights of the island there stands a fort 
of the most awe-inspiring dimensions and construc- 
tion. Five fearful-looking six-pounders yawn sav- 
agely over the seaward walls. A man in blue, with 
a feather and a bayonet, keeps watch and ward over 
these terrific implements of destruction. 

On the narrow beach lies the town. There are 
two hotels, two churches, another hotel, some board- 
ing-houses, then some more hotels, another church, 
a boarding-house, a log-house, thatched with bark, 
and a private house that is neither a hotel, boarding- 
house, nor church. There are several other build- 
ings which are used for selling " Indian curiosities." 
"Indian- curiosities" are mainly little articles 

88 Glances at Summer Resorts. 

which sell at the rate of five dollars to a cost of one 

Mackinaw is the great cooling-off place of the con- 
tinent. It is the ice-house, the refrigerator. 

Meats keep in this wonderful climate seven or eight 
weeks. The steak which you don't eat this morn- 
ing will appear before your plate to-morrow. It will 
be just as good, and eatable, and fresh as it was this 

Of course, one rapidly cools off. The only time 
when one is liable to get into a perspiration is when 
he pays for any thing, or comes to settle his bill. 

Cooling oft' is done by sitting on the balcony of 
the hotel, tipping back in a chair, and putting your 
feet on the top rail. The view from the grounds, in 
front of a party thus engaged in cooling oft*, is pic- 

As a general thing, this style of cooling oft* is not 
popular among our lady boarders. 

Mackinaw is noted for its fishing facilities. I have 
already fished for two days, and have not as yet had 
a bite. 

Singularly, the fishing grounds are all from nine to 
fifteen miles away, and can only be reached by hiring 
a man and a sail-boat, at the rate of a dollar an hour. 
Two friends of mine, four empty whisky-bottles, two 
gun-cases, six blankets, and about a ton of fishing- 
tackle, ammunition, and provision-baskets, have just 
returned from a three days' excursion to these remote, 
inviting, and prolific fishing waters. 

They paid $30 for boat and guide ; got one trout ; 
seven fish-bites ; from 15,000 to 25,000 siind-fly and 



mosquito bites ; and one shot at a gull. In addition 
to this, one of the party got his nose broken by trip- 
ping over a root ; and both got their noses blistered 
by the sun till they now peel with the facility of birch- 

Eating fish is the chief amusement among the 
sojourners at Mackinaw. At the first meal, one 
takes boiled and broiled white-fish, and boiled and 
broiled trout. At the next meal you drop the boiled 
white-fish. At the next you drop the boiled trout. 
At the next you take broiled trout. At the next you 
take a very small piece, please, of the broiled white- 
fish. At the next " No fish, thank you ! " 

There are some other amusements. There is the 
fun of hearing the steamers whistle. There are 
never less than from three to five steamers coming 
in or going out of Mackinaw. All of them blow off 
steam through an immense copper cylinder ; and 
the performance is called whistling. It shakes the 
island like a volcano ; rattles the window-casements ; 
tumbles the children out of bed ; and awakens one 
out of his sleep with the impression that Gabriel is 
blowing his horn for the day of judgment. 

Another amusement is to walk down through the 
dust, when a boat comes in, and ask for Chicago 
papers. You never get any ; but this does not make 
it any the less interesting to go for them. The mails 
for this point come from Chicago via Cincinnati, 
Toronto, Montreal, or some other eastern town. 
There is no news-depot. There are a few depots 
devoted to the sale of Indian curiosities. 

Another amusement consists in finding a woman 


Glances at Summer Resorts. 

here without her husband, and then getting up a 
flirtation with her. As a g^eneral thing: this is a 
popuhir amusement. One can not step out of the 
house after dark without great danger of tumbh'ng 
over a couple more or less engaged in love-making. 

Another amusement consists in a visit to the fort. 
The fort is a massive work, with a tight stone wall 
in front, and a board fence in the rear, behind which 
is an eminence that commands the interior. In case 
of attack, the intention is to let the enemy capture 
the fort, then the garrison will retreat to the emi- 
nence, and proceed to shell out the caged enemy. 
Taken in all, it is one of the most ingenious traps 
ever constructed, save, perhaps, the celebrated Peters- 
burg mine. 

The fort is garrisoned by a battalion of soldiers. 
Their duty is onerous. It consists in ceaseless vigils 
to guard against the approach of British gunboats ; 
and in rowing and sailing on the lake. Twice 
or three times a week the officers have to come 
down to the hotels and dance. These duties, and 
that of drawing their pay, are a portion of what 
has to be done by the veterans who guard Fort 

There are some other amusements. One can 
climb trees ; watch the Indian women scratch their 
heads ; and visit the " Lover's Leap." The " Lover's 
Leap" is a rock adown which some persecuted maiden 
leaped to avoid an importunate lover who wished to 
marry her. Evidently she was not a maiden of 
modern birth and education. 

Taken in all, Mackinaw is a nice place. It is cool, 

Sault Ste. Marie. 


if you can find a breeze and can sit in it. There 
being no doctors here it is remarkably healthy. Inva- 
lids who come here always get well soon after they 
have used up all the medicine they bring with them. 
There are fine bathing facilities if you go about four 
miles around back of the island. I take great pleas- 
ure in recommending the hotel where I am stopping. 
Its landlord is accommodating, and its clerk is gen- 


Before taking final leave of Mackinaw, I ought 
to say at least a word about the society. It is very 
brilliant there this summer. Both the hotels are full. 
When a hotel is full there, they continue to take in 
more people, like a Chicago street-car. I slept in a 
small bed-room off* a parlor. Two others and a dog 
slept in the same room. In the parlor, on cots, sofas, 
and the floor, were a married man, his wife, a bab}^ 
that lay awake nights and yelled, three young ladies, 
some children, and another baby a little larger than 
the other. About the same sort of thing was all over 
the house. Sometimes the babies cried, the married 
man swore, the married woman said " Hush ! " the 
older children snored, and the young ladies " Oh 
deared," and the dog barked, all at once. When to 
this concert were added two steamers w^histling at 
the landing, the porter taking a big trunk down 
stairs, and the barking of some more dogs down in 
the village, the whole was delightful as an old-fash- 
ioned horning at a wedding. 


Glances at Summer Resorts. 

Chicago is largely represented at Mackinaw. A 
Chicago man is known the moment he arrives. He 
goes down to the landing, and hallos up to people 
on the boat : " What was wheat doin' ? " 

The next day, when the Chicago man comes down 
to breakfast, he inquires of the first man he meets : 
" What is corn goin' to do ? " 

The ladies from all places have a superb time. 
They discuss each other's peculiarities behind each 
other's backs, in a style that is at once exciting and 
interesting. Those at the Island House have a sort 
of a general idea of the superiority of their set over the 
people at the Mission House. Those at the Mission 
House are pervaded with a sort of a feeling of com- 
miseration for the ladies who are forced to stop at 
the Island House. 

At each place the people who sit at one end of one 
table find themselves somew^hat disposed to hold 
themselves aloof from the other people who sit at the 
other end of the same table. In the same way the 
first floor is rather disposed to be arrogant w^ith re- 
spect to the second floor. A parlor is very airy 
towards a single bed-room. A double bed-room 
holds itself rather higher than a single bed-room. 

It was just at the precise moment when every body 
who wished to go to Lake Superior had fallen into 
his first sleep, that the steamer Union, bound from 
Chicago to Superior, blew her charming whistle. 
There was a hasty shifting of night-shirts for other 
garments, a strapping of trunks, a grinding of dray 
wheels, a squalling among the children aroused by 
the clamor, and then the cabin of the Union. 

Sault Ste. Marie. 


Happening, after a while, to have business below, 
I descended to the lower deck of the Union, and was 
at once agreeably and vastly astonished. Among 
her other freight was a lot of cattle, sheep, swine, 
and cabbages. From these there arose an odor like 
unto Bridgeport. It was delightful. I inhaled the 
familiar fragrance, and I felt myself at home again. 
Once more Chicago was present, and for a moment 
I forgot that I was an exile and a wanderer. 

That eveninor all Chicas^o went to the lower deck 
and breathed in delicious remembrances of home. 
A German from the North Side selected the pile of 
cabbage, and others took the odor of hog, sheep, or 
beef-cattle, according to their fancies. At a late 
hour we regretfully tore ourselves away, and went 
to our respective state-rooms above. 

Daylight found us tied up, in the fog, to a thriving 
settlement known as De Tour, at the foot of Ste. 
Marie's River. The place is handsomely located on 
the American shore, and has one store, one dwelling, 
and one wood-pile. On that particular morning its 
population was largely increased by two canoe-loads 
of Indians, who were in camp there over night. 
They were children of nature, thrilling and beauti- 
ful. A patriarchal squaw wore a man's hat, a 
woman's petticoat, and a pair of unmistakable 
breeches. Her old man had on a calico shirt, and 
nothing else worth mention. There was a maternal 
canine of no particular breed, with five responsibili- 
ties. When the hour for departure came, the moth- 
erly dog was firmly, yet unceremoniously, lifted by 
the tail and flung into the canoe. A gridiron, frying- 

94 Glances at Summer Resorts. 

pan, her wailing infants, a piece of fat meat for din- 
ner, and a couple of fish were flung on top of her, 
and then the untutored natives paddled away. 

One who desires solitude can not do better than to 
locate any where on either side of the Sault Ste. 
Marie. It is a narrow river, which " runs like h — 1," 
as a military gentleman on board expressed it, and 
has not sufficient tillable ground on either shore to 
grow a hill of beans. 

A man in search of rocks would like the country. 
A man fond of blackened stumps by the million 
would be pleased with the location. 

The stream is so crooked that a man on the bow 
of the boat could almost, at any time, shake hands 
with one on the stern. 

At the head of the river, and opposite the locks 
that lead into Lake Superior, is Sault Ste. Marie. 
Sault Ste. Marie is pronounced " Soo." 

The " Soo " is another fashionable watering place. 
There are some stores, some log-houses, and a hotel. 
The hotel is built to hold fifty people comfortably ; 
but it contains usually one hundred and fifty. Men 
with eye-glasses stood on the shore, watching our 
approach. Gaily-dressed women, with " Follow-me- 
lads" did likewise. 

Opposite the locks are the rapids. The rapids 
afford the best shooting facilities on the lakes. The 
shooting is done in a canoe. You get in a canoe, 
with four Indians, and then shoot the rapids. It is 
rare sport, if you don't get spilled. In which case 
you are recovered in small pieces from the still water 
a mile or two below. 

Saidt Stc. Marie, 


Shooting the rapids is like being shot out of a 
fifteen-inch gun — only you go faster in the former 
case. I enjoyed the shooting — the rapid motion, the 
tremendous excitement, and the imminent danger — 
immensely. In every case that I thus enjoyed this 
unequaled amusement, it was when I sat on a rock 
on the shore, and saw some one else going down the 

There is a fort there. It consists of an acre of 
ground inclosed by a board fence. Several six-pound 
guns stand in the middle of the inclosure. A man 
with a bayonet very kindly stands at the gate and 
keeps out the cattle. 

There were some Chicago men there who inquired 
about wheat. There were likewise some gentlemen 
with very pointed shoes, white handkerchiefs over 
their hats, side-whiskers, and single eye-glasses. All 
of them pronounce can't as if written kawnt. I sus- 
pected that they came from a country known as 

The amusements at the " Soo" are the same, prin- 
cipally, as at Mackinaw. The men put their heels 
high up in the daytime, and take them down occa- 
sionally to take a drink, play a game of billiards, or 
go down and see a boat come in. The ladies all 
have three different dresses, which they change 
according to the meals. There is calico with coffee, 
light colors with roast beef, and black with young 
hyson. Still another style is worn later at night, 
whose character I had no opportunity of exam- 

Parlor and bed-room, first floor and second floor, 

Glances at Szunjner Resorts. 

have the same opinion of their respective merits that 
they have of each other at Mackinaw. 

The"Soo"is cool when one is not in a warm 
place. I found it enclurahle in shady places where 
there was a stiff breeze. A good deal of cooling-off 
is done through straws over a counter. 

There is an Indian at the " Soo." I did not learn 
his residence. Sometimes he sat in the sun and 
dolefully delved with his fingers in his hair. Some- 
times he came in town with a pail of " huckleber- 
ries." Oftener he sat in the sun thinking of his 
heroic ancestors, the desecrated graves of his fore- 
fathers, and meanwhile burrowing among his raven 
locks. His costume was usually primitive and ven- 

It was the same Indian that you meet at Mackinaw, 
at De Tour, at every other point from the Straits to 
Superior City. Poor Indian ! He dreams, suns 
himself, and scratches. 


We were locked into Lake Superior as the shades 
of evening were being pulled down over the case- 
ments of the eastern sky. There was a sunset that 
evening. It occurred a little north of west, on the 
horizon. Some one on board said the sun was about 
going to bed. The publicity attending the perform- 
ance may account for the redness of the face of the 
sun. He felt ashamed. 

The phenomenon was perfectly splendid. My 

Lake Superior, 


authority for this assertion is a young lady, who sat 
on the bow and witnessed the performance. 

There was a newly married couple witnessing the 
gorgeous sunset. It affected them powerfully. They 
nestled closer together, they clasped, with the strength 
of vises, each other's hand. Their cheeks came in 
contact.' Somehow, the sunset was not the only thing 
that thus affected them. Every thing else had the 
same effect on them. 

If there was an island in sight, they squeezed hands. 
If a canoe came in view, they took a sly embrace. 
No matter what appeared or occurred, the opportu- 
nity was selected as the one in which to make an 
erotic demonstration. In fact, so far as I saw, except 
during frequent disappearances into their stateroom, 
they seemed to be everlastingly indulging in some 
ecstatic and love-inspired performances. 

The red-faced sun went under the waves. Night 
drew its curtain of gauzy darkness around from the 
east. The stars came out in myriads, and flashed 
through the curtains. The shores receded into a 
misty obscurity, and then disappeared. The blue 
lines upon the horizon changed from purple to an 
inky blackness. The waters dashed against the prow, 
and rushed behind us with a monotonous and 
moiu'nful sound, like the sweep of the swift current 
of a river. 

Taking advantage of all these occurrences, the 
newly-wedded pair repaired to their stateroom. 
Following the example of night, I will draw a veil 
over the occurrences of the evening:. 

At precisely daylight, there came a furious rap^^ing 

98 Glances at Stmimer Resorts. 

along the stateroom doors, accompanied with the 
remark : " We're a-comin' close to Pictured Rocks." 

Before I left Chicago, J. Adams Allen, M.D., 
mentioned the fact that Pictured Rocks could 
minister more to a mind diseased than all the M.D.'s 
and apothecary shops in Christendom. Every body 
else said that Pictured Rocks were the attraction of 
Lake Superior. I was therefore highly impressed 
with Pictured Rocks. I put on my clothes and went 

It was a sublime scene. It was just day-break. 
The cold wind whistled across the deck, and set one's 
teeth to chattering, like castanets. Casting nets is a 
cold business. It is the coolest figure I can think of. 

It was just two hours of freeze, swear, chill, and 
shiver, before we got abreast of Pictured Rocks. 
They are fine. The uneasy lake has worn away the 
shore, until there remains a long wall whose face is 
perpendicular to the water. Upon this wall are the 
famed pictures. 

The first noticeable picture is an immense hole. 
Looking upon auger holes and other excavations and 
drillings in the light of pictures, then the hole in the 
Superior rock is a grand artistic success. It has 
great depth, — forty or fifty feet. It has breadth, — 
not less than sixty feet. It has stone, — sand-stone. 
The chiaro-oscui'o is probably good, — that is, if it 
have any. All pictures are said to have chiai'o- 

The next picture was either a portrait of Mr. 
Lincoln, or a cavity made by the fiill of a ton or so 

Lake Superior, 


of rocks. Being a couple of miles away, I could 
not say with certainty which it was. 

Further along there is a chapel. At least the 
guide-book says so. It is probably very fine. I have 
no hesitation in conceding that it is one of the finest 
pieces of architecture in existence. I was unfortunate 
enough not to be able to see it. 

There are twelve or fifteen other pictures spoken 
of in the guide-book, which I did not see. It is 
possible that they have been removed for exhibition 
to Crosby's Art Gallery. 

The first watering-place of note after leaving the 
" Soo " is Marquette. Marquette was situated on a 
northward turn in the south bank of Lake Superior. 
It had some elegant brick stores. There was a 
sidewalk. There were also some private residences, 
in which people resided. 

Such was Marquette. At present it looks very 
much like a place where an encampment of Indians 
cooked its last night's supper. 

Nevertheless, by some singular dispensation of 
Providence, hotels were spared, and to them flock 
the pleasure-seekers. It is a good place to seek 
pleasure. There is good fishing some fifty or more 
miles below. There is excellent pigeon-shooting 
down at Grand Island, only eighty miles away. 
Game is found in abundance on the other shore of 
the lake, only some 300 miles distant. The bathing 
is excellent in the lake, if you first take out the 
water and heat it. There will be a good harbor as 
soon as it can be built. 

The facilities for getting about town are varied. 

loo Glances at Summer Resorts. 

One can climb over brick-piles, clamber over timber- 
piles, swim through mortar-beds, or wade through 
the sand. 

The crowd, especially at the Northwestern, is 
good-looking and well-dressed. The gentlemen 
amuse themselves by sitting on the small of their 
backs, under the trees, and in chewing tobacco. The 
ladies are engaged in sitting on the portico, in 
changing their dresses, and in playing billiards. 
None of them as yet can beat even Foster. They 
use the cue, and play the " full," or " pocket," game. 

Sometimes the guests go out for a little row. I 
mean a row on the lake, and not a row on the land. 
Sometimes they go out riding. There are no thea- 
tres, circuses, regattas, horse-races, concerts, dances, 
excursions, or picnics. Leaving these out, the 
amusements are very entertaining. You can make 
love to somebody's wife. You can shoot with a bow 
and arrow at the trees. You can observe the fine 
play of a fountain which occurs for a few minutes 
semi-annually. Any general eclipse of the sun or 
moon, and visible from that vicinity, can likewise be 
seen from Marquette. In such a case, the view must 
undoubtedly be a fine one. 


Niagara is a great thing. A vast body of water 
goes down an inclined plane, and then falls over a 
hill or precipice. 

There is an island which divides the current be- 



fore it gets to the precipice. The land is called Goat 
Island. This is an improper rendering of Go-it 
Island. It was so termed originally from the way 
the waters go-it on either side. 

I should say that the Falls are quite sublime. I 
think I have some where heard or read something 
to that effect. 

But the sublimest thing is not Niagara ; it is in 
seeing Niagara. Mr. Carlyle had something to say 
of the danger of shooting Niagara. If Mr. C. knows 
as much about it as I do, his next article will be a 
stronger one than his last, and will be called Seeing 

The charge at Balaklava has been much lauded. 
It was a tame affair compared to the charges at 

To see Niagara, you buy eleven silk dresses for 
your wife, and six shirts for yourself. You then get 
all the ready money you have, borrow all your 
friends have, and make arrangements for unlimited 
credit at two or three good, solvent banks. You 
then take six trunks, some more money, a nurse, a 
colored servant, some more money ; and then, after 
getting some more money, and extending your credit 
at one or two more strong banks, you set out. It is 
better, if possible, just before you leave, to mortgage 
your homestead and get some more money. 

After getting there, your cheapest plan will be to 
purchase a hotel, and a carriage and team. You can 
stay a week, and then give away the hotel and the 
carriage, and still make money by the operation. 

If not disposed to economy, you can purchase the 

I03 Glances at Summer Resorts. 

ordinary lavish American way of taking rooms at a 
caravansera, and paying for every thing at the regular 

The first step in seeing Niagara is to dress your 
wife in one of her most expensive suits. Yourself 
ditto. Your wife then goes into the parlors on exhi- 
bition. You light a cigar, go out on the verandah, 
and put your heels high up on a column. While 
your w^fe finds out if any body has any more expen- 
sive clothes than she, you occupy yourself in trying 
to stare some woman out of countenance. 

As a general thing, your last effort will be a failure. 

Sometimes, after people have examined each other 
for a week or so, in the parlors and at the dinner- 
table, they take a fancy to go out and look at some 
water which, at this place, runs over a hill. This is 
not always done. Nevertheless, when there is a lull 
in other affairs, some of the more energetic visitors 
go out and visit the river. 

The water falls over the precipice at a point some 
sixty feet from the rear of the hotel. To visit this 
remarkable phenomenon, you negotiate for a ba- 
rouche, a pair of horses, and a driver. 

To get over this sixty feet, you get in the carriage 
and are driven slowly down the river for three miles. 
This is what happened to me. 

When I had been driven toward the Falls for three 
miles, the driver said we were at the whirlpool. 
I paid him a dollar for the information, and then went 
down to see the whirlpool. 

You have an excellent view of the whirlpool from 
the top of the bank. But there are stairs which go 

Niagara. 103 

down to the water, where the view is not half so 
good, owing to the lowness of the situation. You 
can go down in half an hour, if you hurry. When 
you get down to the bottom, you can see nothing, 
and therefore prepare to ascend. 

It is broiling hot, and an ascent of five hundred 
steps stairs you in the face. 

When one reaches the top, he has just enough life 
in him to be able to read a sign which has been hung 
up while he was away : " One dollar each, to be 
appropriated for the benefit of orphans." 

My representation to the young man, that I am an 
orphan, produced no effect. It was some other 
orphan that he labored for. He was an orphan of 
about fifty years. I felt sorry for his motherless con- 

There is another desolate orphan there, who is 
armless, and who is bereft of his parents at the tender 
age of sixty-five. For being an orphan, and for not 
having any arms, he collects a dollar from each visitor. 

Paying the driver another dollar for having waited 
for me, I continued the journey to the Falls. The 
next move in getting to the Falls consists in driving 
over into Canada, For the privilege of going over 
into Canada, one pays a man a dollar. 

The Canadian journey to the Falls is romantic and 
full of incident. You begin by paying something to 
a woman who charges for passing her house. 

The next view of the Falls is a blind man with a 
camera. You pay him something. There is a leg- 
less man with a prism. You pay him something. 

Another fine view of the Falls occurs here. You 

I04 Glances at Su?7imer Resorts. 

pay a man five dollars for a photograph of yourself 
seated in your carriage. 

As you drive along you obtain views of the Falls 
by disbursing at a hotel for lemonades, to another 
blind man, to an Indian, to somebody who exhibits 
a stuffed wild-cat, to a woman with fawns, to a man 
with rocks, and some sixty or seventy others. The 
regular minimum charge of each one of these is one 

After having paid these respective charges the car- 
riage goes back to the hotel, and drives over on Go-it 
Island. There is a charsfe of one dollar for groing on 
Go-it Island. 

The drive is a fine one. Being completely shut in 
with trees, it is shady and cool. In the distance one 
catches glimpses of water. 

Returning to the hotel, after a drive of five hours, 
I dismissed the carriage, and then walked out on the 
back porch, and, for the first time, got a view of the 

The next day I went under the Falls. For going 
under the Falls, you pay somebody two dollars. 

Going under the Falls can be arranged at home by 
people who are not millionaires, and who can not 
afford to visit Niagara. To arrange it at home, a 
person should array himself in a close-fitting suit of 
oil-cloth. This done, let him have a servant screw 
a hose on a fire-plug, and then play the stream full 
in his face. Let this be continued for ten minutes ; 
after which he should, to keep up the imitation of 
Niagara, pay the servant five dollars, and then com- 


mence doctoring hinisejf for the catarrh, a tremen- 
dous cold, and a severe attack of rheumatism. 

From wliat I saw of the Falls, I should say that 
the}' are fine, and rather wet. 

People who can not afford to visit Niagara, can get 
up substitutes at home, which will differ in no essen- 
tial particular from Niagara itself. 

The best substitute that occurs to me is for a man 
to put all his capital in a bank, and then get a run on 
him. As he sees the last dollar of his fortune being 
paid out, he will feel as one does who is at Niagara. 

Another excellent substitute, and a cheap one, is 
for a man to put all his money in his pocket, and 
then allow himself to be garroted. As be feels an 
arm compressing his neck, and a hand " going 
through " his pockets, he will feel pretty much as 
one does -at Niagara. 

Altogether the finest view of the Falls is to be had 
at the dinner-table. The waterfalls there visible are 

The number of people who are here engaged in 
defrauding the government of the income tax, in im- 
poverishing themselves, and in beggaring their unfor- 
tunate and foredoomed offspring- is very great. It is 
a well-dressed crowd. Some of it is good-looking. 
There are some young women here. They are 
lovely. To say that they are here in search of hus- 
bands, would be a slander on their sex ; young 
women never do such things. They are here be- 
cause their parents have found that money is a 
burden and a sin, and have come here to rid them- 
selves of it. 


io6 Glances at Sujjwzcr Resorts, 


This point lies somewhere between Niagara Falls 
and Saratoga. I came hither by way of the New 
York Central Railroad. 

It is a place which is not famous, as a general 
thing. No great battle was ever fought here. There 
is a legend concerning a man who was scalped here 
by Indians something like a century or two ago. 
Waiving the many doubts that assail the authen- 
ticity of the occurrence, the public will find in this 
event the most exciting one that ever took place 

But, to me, it is a place of the most immense im- 
portance. It is the birthplace of a person in whom 
I have the mos^; profound interest. This j^erson is 
to me the most important individual in existence. 
With his past I have been most intimately associa- 
ted. In his future, I have a most absorbing interest. 
This important individual is none other than — 

This place is a good deal in the country. Its 
most populous point is its cemetery. Unlike the 
country about it, the cemetery is growing in popula- 
tion ; and is liable to improvement. It is the only 
settlement to whose suburbs there are ever made ad- 
ditions. While every thing else stands still, that 
goes ahead. While all other lots are quiet, its lots 
are advancing in price. 

One who leaves Chicago for a month, or any 
other western town for a few weeks, will scarcely, 

In the Country. 

on his return, recognize the place, owing to the im- 
provements. An absence of twenty years from this 
characteristic eastern place shows, perhaps, a new 
coat of paint on some fence, or a new clapboard in 
some house. Otherwise one finds things as if he 
had left them but a week ago. 

A dog rushed out from a yard and barked at me 
as I came up, and then, with dropped tail, dodged a 
vicious cut from the horse-whip, and took sanctuary 
behind the fence through a hole under the gate. I 
could almost swear that the same dog had come out 
at me, in the same manner, and made his escape 
through the same hole, under the same gate, and 
had then stood and barked at me through the same 
fence, a quarter of a century ago. 

One who comes back, after an absence of a few 
years, will be very apt to fancy that his absence is 
only a dream, and that he has slept only a night. 

The only thing that will correct this idea is to no- 
tice how the grave-yard is swollen. There are also 
threads of silver in locks that were glossy brown 
when he w^ent away. Other faces are missing, as if 
they had gone away in the night. There are like- 
wise young and strange faces that meet him here 
and there. 

But chiefly does one recognize that he has not 
been dreaming, and that the ponderous years have 
rolled away into the insatiable past, by facts con- 
nected with population and of interest to the census- 
taker. You call around to see Almani, whom you 
left a rosy, romping, gushing thing of sweet sixteen. 
You find her a matronly dame, with crow's-feet 

io8 Glances at Summer Resorts, 

around her eyes, and long lines engraven upon either 
cheek. A strapping youth, with whiskers, is an- 
nounced as her oldest. A healthy infant sucks its 
thumbs upon her lap, and stares at you with " round- 
eyed wonder." It is the youngest. Between the 
whiskers and it with the nourishing thumb, there is 
a girl with bare legs, a boy that last winter " went 
through the 'rithmetic," and some more boys that 
develop incipient tendencies, to the maternal eye, 
toward theology and the spiritual charge of the 
white church on the hill. 

Such spectacles set the visitor, who has been away 
out into the world for a few years, to feeling the bald 
spot on his cranium, to ascertain its precise extent, 
and to wondering what the d — 1 Time is in such a 
hurry about. 

Confusion to these women who, in place of remain- 
ing in cozy and perpetual maidenhood, grow wrink- 
led and attenuated, and thrust in the face of the 
returned wanderer their fifteen - pound babies, to 
remind him that he is growing old 1 This chronol- 
ogy of population ; these evidences afforded by the 
processes of multiplying and replenishing the earth ; 
these assertions contained in pap, and diapers, and 
small clothes — have given me a fit of the horrors. 
My gums seem almost toothless, my head brainless, 
my body juiceless, and my legs attenuated into the 
" shrunk shank," whose " slippered pantaloons" 
seem a world and a half " too wide" for their with- 
ered and ancient contents. 

Let me advise him who is happy in the belief that 
the shadows of old age are still far distant in the fu- 



ture, to avoid, after prolonged absences, the home of 
his childhood. If not, he may awake to the unpleas- 
ant fact that the sunset of life is just on the horizon, 
and that already the gray twilight of coming night 
is reflected in his hair, while its gloom is narrowing 
swiftly the horizon of his existence. 

Amusements in the country, hereabouts, are rather 
scarce. A box or any other operatic seat is not to 
be had for any consideration. Grau was not hither- 
wards on his last tour. Ristori has hitherto avoided 
this locality. Ole Bull, for some inexplicable rea- 
son, went by on the other side. Kellogg was not 
here last year, or the year before, or any other year. 
Brignoli, Gottschalk, Zucchi, Heller, Hartz, Mo- 
rensi, Hermanns, Hableman, and some fifteen 01 
twenty others, have not been here of late, or at any 
other time. 

The only one that was ever here was Gougli. 
Gough was once here. He never came but once. 
In this particular, the place has a great advantage 
over Chicago. 


As it may not be generally known, 1 will state 
that Saratoga is a watering-place. One goes to 
Niagara to see water. One does not come here to 
see water. Sea-w^ater is not good to drink. People 
come to Saratoga to drink water. 

I have observed that a great deal of water is drunk 
here. A large class of people who drink it is 
composed of invalid gentlemen with red eyes and 

no Glances at Summer Resorts. 

swollen noses. They patronize mainly Congress Hall 
spring. It is located in the basement. 

Two invalids or more usually go to the spring 
together. A high counter is erected before the spring. 
Behind this is the attendant. 

The attendant is a man with a dyed moustache, 
hair elaborately oiled and curled, and clad in a white 

The invalids arrange themselves before the spring 
and name their water. Each man habitually takes 
about one-third of a tumblerfull. The spring water 
has usually a reddish tinge, and looks a good deal 
like Chicago brandy. 

When the invalids drink, they generally remark : 
" Here's luck ! " 

The spring here spoken of is very popular. The 
invalids go to it at intervals of from fifteen minutes 
to half an hour. When a man drinks the health- 
giving-water, he usually grimaces. From this fact, 
I infer that it is not pleasant to the taste. 

That it is wonderfully healthful, I know. There is 
an invalid whom I saw drinking some of it some 
weeks ago. He was then thin and pale. He is still 
drinking it, and has grown very fleshy. He is no 
longer pale, especially his nose and the whites of his 
eyes. He is now the most rubicund, fat, and shaky 
picture of health I ever saw. 

The great majority of visitors who visit here, come 
for the purpose of drinking the mineral waters. 
There are two ways of drinking Saratoga water. 
One is to stay at home and buy it by the bottle of the 
<lruggist. The other is to buy six or seven three-story 



trunks, fill them with your wife's clothing, and then, 
after putting up your own clothing in a carpet-bag, 
to come here. To get here, one usually stops a few 
weeks by the way at Niagara, Newport, Long 
Branch, and other prominent points. 

The last mentioned way of drinking the health- 
giving waters of Saratoga is the most fashionable. 
It is no better in a sanitary point of view than the 
other. But it gives your wife a better show. 

No woman can prosper on Saratoga water with 
less than thirty-four distinct changes of apparel. 

To get the full benefit of the mineral water, the 
visitor stops at Congress Hall. It is the largest hotel 
here. The larger the hotel, the better the effect of 
drinking the water. A room on the first floor is 
more conducive to health than one on the floor above. 
Mineral water poured inside a thousand-dollar dress 
with a woipan in it, is much more beneficial than 
when the dress costs only thirty-five dollars. 

Drinking Saratoga water is healthful. The ladies 
drink it by changing their dresses some 28 times per 
week. Sometimes they take the water by getting 
up a flirtation. The men drink it at the spring 
heretofore noticed. At other times, they drink it by 
laying white or red chips on a card. Another way 
consists in five men getting around a table in a room. 
Each man lights a cigar, takes about one-third of a 
tumbler of spring water, and then begins operation. 
There is health in this method, because I heard one 
man say something about going better." Another 
man said something about a " flush." I suppose 
he meant a flush of health. Another man mentioned 

112 Glances at Suimncr Resorts. 

something about a " full." He looked so happy 
that he must have meant that he was full of satisfac- 
tion, or joy, or something. Another man got so 
strong that he " raised " the other four, all at once. 

Another favorite way for a gentleman to imbibe 
the health-giving water, is for him to put an eye- 
glass across his nose, his feet on the top rail of the 
balustrade of the verandah, a chew of tobacco in his 
mouth, and then to spit between the rails. I see 
gentleman doing this by the hour. Occasionally 
they get up, go down in the basement where the 
spring is, and then come back wiping their mouths 
with their pocket-handkerchiefs. 

While the gentleman thus recuperate by spitting 
through the railings, the ladies promenade up and 
down the piazza. A woman who is taking a full 
course of mineral waters retires to change her dress 
every time she crosses the piazza once. 

In the evening, there is what is called a hop. A 
hop is a process in the curative operations of mineral 

At a hop every body at the hotel puts on a new 
and expensive dress, and all his or her ^iner3^ All 
then go to the spacious dining-room, and sit down in 
chairs. There is a band, that is led by a romantic 
youth of 58, with a bald head and moustache. After 
the band has played several airs, a young man with 
his hair parted by compass exactly in the middle, 
with narrow shoulders, thin legs, patent-leathers, 
and an eye-glass, steps into the small space surround- 
ed by the spectators. 

Along with him is a young woman witli a wasp- 

Green Mountains, 


waist, an enormous and expensive (considering the 
price of elevators) mammary development, twelve 
pounds of false hair, and costume tucked up behind, 
a la washerwoman. These two hitch together, 
thrust out two united arms laterally, and commence 

As they do so, the crowd watches breathlessly the 
color of the young woman's garters, and the frilled 
and laced whirl of her under-clothing. 

The mysterious and beautiful turmoil of revolving 
and immaculate linen enchains the eye of every male 

These two revolve until the slender youth shows 
signs of faintness, and the young woman has left 
little or nothing to be solved by the imagination. 

These hops are the most delightful and beautiful 
of the curative operations of mineral water. Of 
three or four hundred who attend a hop, as many as 
six or eight usually dance. Between the intervals 
of the dances, young ladies who do not dance, but 
who have on a new dress, walk across the space 
occupied by the dancers. 


Having successively exhibited all the various suits 
of clothing in my family party, and finding my 
iinances getting low, in consequence of responding 
to the appeals for pecuniary aid of the gentlemanly 
landlord with whom I resided, I concluded to hunt 
a cheaper locality. When one leaves Niagara or 

114 Glances at Summer Resorts » 

Saratoga, after a lengthened sojourn, his most 
natural destination is a poor-house. 

But it was not in search of a poor-house that I 
came hitherwards. I am not disposed to slander 
Vermont hospitality with any such remark. 

If a man who has been stopping a few weeks at 
Niagara or Saratoga can not get admittance to a 
poor-house, the next best thing he can do is to 
" take " the bankrupt act. A receipted hotel-bill 
from either these places will be accepted by any 
bankrupt-commissioner as final evidence of remediless 
poverty. It ought to procure his discharge without 
further difficulty. 

To get to Vermont from Saratoga, one goes to 
Whiteliall, and thence to Rutland. Between the 
two places, the Vermont line is crossed. I knew 
we had crossed it by the coming on the train of a 
stranger who sat down by me, and commenced an 
acquaintance by inquiring where I was going, how 
long I was going to stay, where I came from, what 
the price of butter was when I left, and whether I 
knew Deacon Doggett, who lived out in Illinois. 

From Rutland to Burlington, one passes a few 
handsome villages and some rocks. There is a great 
variety of the latter. They are piled up to immense 
heights. A little timber is scattered over them, and 
some grass grows here and there among the crevices. 
Here these crevices are fenced in, and are called 
pastures. All the cattle that pasture on these crevi- 
ces are rigged out with brakes, without which they 
could not get down the hills. 

My present stopping-place is at the foot of the 

Green Mountains, 


Green Mountains, a few miles east of Burlington. 
The country is primitive, and there are some rocks 
here. The inhabitants are distinguished for longev- 
ity, hospitality, radicalism, asthma, the use of patent 
medicines, and for being pervaded v\^ith an insane 
idea that this portion of Vermont is the location ot 
the original Eden. 

A man of note in this vicinity has from 50 to 100 
cows, 600 acres of land, a span of No. i horses, two 
fancy sheep, and a sugar-orchard. A man who has 
all these may run for the Assembly if he pleases, or 
be a deacon in the Church. 

Real estate hereabouts is mostly rocks set up on 
edge, with grassy crevices for the cows. A Ver- 
mont cow understands herself. She can climb rocks 
like a squirrel, and she gets fat and gives twelve 
quarts of milk from feed that is not visible to any 
thing less than a microscope of forty diameters. 

Uncle James, with whom I am stopping, has a 
bull and the phthisic. Yesterday the bull got in the 
orchard, and Uncle James, accompanied by his 
phthisic and a big gad, went down to drive the bull 

Now, what I am about to demonstrate is, that, in 
a race, it depends a good deal upon who is ahead. 

I sat at the window and timed the little dash. At 
the send-off, the bull led Uncle James and the gad 
about two lengths. Up to the first quarter, the gait 
was moderate. Uncle James steadily gained on the 
bull, until, at the first quarter, the gad just laj^ped 
the bull from head to tail. 

At this precise point, they disappeared behind the 

ii6 Glances at Stunmer Resorts, 

rise of ground, the bull just neck and neck with the 
gad, and uncle James one length behind the bull. 

The second and third quarters of the track were 
hidden behind the rise of ground. The fourth quar- 
ter, or home-stretch, was plainly visible from where 
I sat ; and I awaited their appearance with thrilling 

In about five minutes, they rounded the turn and 
emerged on the home-stretch. Uncle ya77ies was 
ahead. The bull was about eighteen inches behind, 
and gaining. The gad was nowhere visible. 

The gait was terrific. Uncle James had his head 
over one shoulder. The bull had his head close to 
the ground. Uncle James' gait was a mixture of 
trot, lope, and stumble. The bull was on a clean 
gallo23, with his tail as straight up as a liberty pole. 

It was a beautiful burst of speed. Nothing like it 
was ever seen. They neared the come-out at a three- 
minute gait. It was almost a dead heat. As Uncle 
James went over the wire — a stone wall — the bull's 
horns were neatly interwoven with his coat-tails. 
Uncle James won by a bare length, which he meas- 
ured on the other side of the fence. In comparing 
the merits of the two, I should state that, while the 
bull has the most wind. Uncle James has the most 

Summary. — Race around the orchard ; single dash, — best 

one in two : 

Uncle James, ------ I 

Bull, 2 

Gad, - -- -- -- - Distanced 

First quarter, ------ 31^ minutes 

Second and third quarters, _ - - Unknown 
Fourth quarter. ----- i min. 28 sec. 

Green Mountains. 


You see we have our little amusements here as 
well as you do in Chicago. 

The other day a party of us went up on Mansfield 
mountain. This mountain is a swelling in the Green 
Mountains, and is a place of fashionable resort from 
Boston. Almost every young lady whom I saw up 
in the mountain wore spectacles, and quoted Emer- 
son when she was about to ask a servant for some 
more beans. 

To go up Mansfield mountain, you take a vehicle 
as far as you can, and then ride a horse the remain- 
der of the way. The vehicular part of the route is 
pleasant, especially if you have good company. 
Good company, as I understand it, means somebody 
of the opposite sex. 

The horse part of the journey is not so pleasant. 
An equestrian riding up the outside of the walls oi 
the court-house in Chicago, would be somewhat like 
riding a horse up Mansfield mountain, — only less so. 
Of the two, the mountain is the steeper, and the as- 
cent more dangerous and difficult. 

A man who rides up, and doesn't anathematize 
himself for being a jackass for undertaking the trip, 
has no proper appreciation of himself or his sur- 

After what seems a couple of weeks or so, one 
gets to the top. Then, if one has an overcoat and a 
fur collar, the affliir becomes pleasant. Seated by a 
good fire, in the cozy hotel at the summit, with a 
good cigar and a bottle of ale, one can enjoy himself 
as well as though he were at home. 

If one admires them, he can go out, stand in the 

ii8 Glances at SuDimer Resorts. 

v/ind, and catch cold and views of the surrounding 
country. The view one gets is fine, but imperfect, 
owing to the fact that Chicago is not visible. 

There was a good deal of Boston company at the 
hotel. The ladies wore spectacles and thick shoes, 
and spent their time, when in-doors, in disputing 
over woman's mission, and, when out-doors, in chip- 
ping the rocks for geological specimens. Sometimes 
they varied these occupations by grim metajDhysical 
flirtations with attendant gentlemen. 

Coming down the mountain is the same as going 
up, except that you see a bottomless abyss over your 
horse's head, whereas, in going up, you saw it over 
his tail. A fiill either way would amount to the 
same thing in the end. 

People w4io live at a distance, and can not go up 
Mansfield mountain, can experience the same sensa- 
tion by riding a horse along a narrow gutter on a 
six-story house. There is no more danger in the 
effort, and it is less expensive. 

Vermont is a fine state in the way of rocks, cheese 
factories, pretty girls, and antique old gentlemen of 
ninety. One house where I had visited had four 
generations living in it. Some other houses have 
five. As near as I can learn, they don't die in this 
vicinity. When a man gets to be a hundred or so, 
they bury him alivei 

The productions of the state are various. Blooded 
sheep, costing originally $2 per head, are sold often 
for $3,500. The maple-sugar here is different from 
what we get in Chicago. So are the milk, and the 
butter, and the cheese. Making cheese is a staple 

Green Mozmtams. 


business. There is usualty a cheese-factory at every 
four corners, with a pretty woman or two slopping 
around in the whey. 

Occasionally one sees some rocks. Upon these 
rocks there are some more rocks, and some others 
upon them. Upon the whole of them, there are, 
usually, some rocks. Sometimes one finds upon the 
top of all this pile some more rocks. 

They have a breed of animals here known as 
k«ows. The k<20w has horns and a tail, and gives 
milk without water in it. The k^row is a very useful 

Almost all the old people hereabouts have a sec- 
ond growth of hair and a third set of teeth. They 
are experimenting upon two or three specimens, to 
see how long they will live. Two of them are yet 
hale and active, but they are so old that every body 
has forgotten how old they are. One of them lost a 
beloved grandchild of loi, who went west on a 
pleasure trip, and got snapped up by a western fever. 

There are a good many other things that I would 
like to describe. None of the girls chew gum. They 
give a man more at a meal here than one gets in a 
week at a first-class hotel any where else. A square 
meal here includes warm biscuits, cold bread, pork 
and beans, butter, cheese, four kinds of sauce, three 
kinds of cake, "punkin" pie, apple pie, "punkin" 
pie, grape pie, "punkin" pie, and "punkin" pie. 
Their "punkin" pie beats the world. Besides these 
articles, there are half a dozen others, all equally 



INE sunny afternoon in September of 1861, 
I was sauntering by the Planters' hotel, 
in St. Louis, when I suddenly found my- 

I self face to face with a short, broad- 

shouldered officer, wearing the uniform of a briga- 
dier-general, and moving forward at a tremendous 

"Hallo, General!" 
u Hallo, W— !" 

"Where you falling back to at this place? This 
beats the time you made getting out of Wilson's 

" Fremont's just ordered me up the country. I'll 
be off in five minutes. Come along with us. Train 
leaves at 3.30. Just time for a little toddy." 

We went inside, had a " little toddy" mixed, and 
then the general touched my glass and said : 

" How ! " 

And, at the same time, I touched his glass and 
remarked : 
" How ! " 

And then the toddy was transferred. 

124 Army and Other Sketches, 

I went down to Barnum's, packed up a blanket, 
a clean collar, a bottle of whisky, a tooth-brush, 
and, just a moment before train-time, was deposited 
at the depot of the North Missouri railroad. 

General Sturgis was already there. Two Ohio 
regiments of infantry were embarked on freight cars. 

Sturgis introduced me to such of the staff as I did 
not know. We all took seats in an aristocratic 
caboose, and a little later were whirling toward St. 
Charles, on the Missouri river. 

And thus began a journey of whose termination I 
then had as little knowledge as I now have of the 
state of the weather on the next anniversary of our 
glorious independence. 

We stopped at Mexico awhile, a week, maybe. 
Then we went up to Macon City. We were after 
some bushwhackers whom we didn't catch. Price 
was closing in on Mulligan, at Lexington, and 
Sturgis had gone up from St. Louis to try and keep 
the bushwhackers of north-eastern Missouri from 
going to Price's assistance. 

The gentlemanly cut-throat whom we were after, 
got off one night, and when the fact was discovered, 
he was miles away, heading for Lexington. As we 
were infantry and he was mounted, it was not 
deemed advisable to chase him. 

Courier with news to Fremont. 

Courier back in a day or two with orders to go to 
Mulligan's relief. 

And then we incontinently started for Lexington. 

We took the cars to Utica, on the Hannibal and 
St. Joe railroad. There we left the road and started 

A BoJiemian Among the Rebels. 

across the country to Lexington. The distance was 
about 50 miles. 

We left at Utica Colonel John Grocsbeck, with one- 
half of his regiment, to guard our rear. With the 
other half of his regiment, and the whole of the 
other regiment, we started to relieve Mulligan, be- 
sieged by something over 20,000 men. 

To accomplish all this, we had 1,200 men who 
had never heard any thing more warlike than a 
Chinese firecracker. We had of six and twelve 
pounders, none ; or any other kind of cannon. We 
had of light and heavy cavalry, dragoons, and othei 
mounted men, none. Sturgis had a horse, and I had 
a mule. We were the only mounted men in an 
expedition having for its object the penetration of an 
unknown and hostile country, and the rout or capture 
of 20,000 rebels. 

But Fremont so ordered, and on we went. 

We pushed on like a drove of calves. The 
Buckeyes were spoiling for a fight the first day. 
One or two of them got a fight. They upset a bee- 
gum and stole the honey, and got stung. Sturgis 
halted the column long enough to cane a couple of 
the bee tliieves, to put their officers under arrest, and 

to d — n vigorously all thieving sons of , Dutch 

or otherwise. And then we moved on. 

That night, when all was still, there came through 
the air, from the south, a slight pulsation. It was 
like a faint tapping in the distance. In the bustle 
of starting in the morning, the pulsation was no 
longer heard. An hour after starting it was again 
heard faintly. It grew from a pulsation into a faint 

126 Army and Other Sketches. 

sound. Then it grew distinguishable. It finally 
resolved itself into the roar of a gun. 

We were 35 miles from Lexington, and yet the 
sound of the gun came across the prairie, at intervals 
of ten or fifteen minutes, with startling clearness. 

Sturgis brightened up. " So long as we hear that 
gun," said he, " it's a sign that Mulligan holds out." 

Some of the Buckeyes heard it, and were not so 
near spoiling for a fight as on the day previous. 

It was on Tuesday, September 17th, that we thus 
pushed on within the sound of the heav}' gun. 
Nothing of particular import happened. Occasion- 
ally a butternut, on a lean horse, met us. He was 
always a Union man. Was always looking for stray 
horses. The first one or two of these gentlemen 
were permitted to depart. The rest were invited to 
stay. To secure their compliance, they were dis- 
mounted and requested to fall into the ranks. 

That night, no occurrence of note. The next morn- 
ing, w^e were up and away at dawn. The heavy 
detonations of the gun still continued to time our 
march and our anticipations. Soon after day-light, 
we saw before us, across the prairie, a dense line of 
timber. It marked, as our involuntary prisoners 
told us, the " bottom " lands of the Missouri river. 

On that Wednesday morning I had eaten only a 
moderate breakfast. I had reason afterward to 
regret that I had not eaten a heartier one. 

Just before we reached the line of timber, we saw 
a man watching us from the road in advance. Two 
or three men mounted on the horses of our prisoners, 
quietly made a detour, headed the gentleman off 

A Bohemian Among the Rebels. 127 

and, soon after, brought him back. He said he 
lived at a Httle town named Richmond, just in 
advance of us. He took General Sturgis aside, and 
communicated something to him. Then the man 
was ordered to follow us, and we went on. 

" See here," said the general. " We are in a 
pocket. This man tells me that from Richmond 
to Lexington it is seven miles, and all the way 
through the bottom. He says the rebels know of our 
coming, and some 5,000 men are in ambush along 
the road. If we can fight our way through 5,000 
men with 1,200 green troops, we shall reach the 
river. The rebels have all the boats, and have 
cannon. We can't get across if we ever get to tlie 

Just about then the head of the column entered 
the timber. As it did so, the tinkle of a cow-bell 
broke the stillness to our left, and a little way in the 
wood. Another was almost instantly heard from 
some point beyond it, and then a third coming 
faintly from the same direction. This direction was 
toward Lexington. Our approach was evidently 
being signaled to the party in ambush. The hollow 
clamor of these bells seemed to have in them some- 
thing inexpressibly portentous of evil. 

We soon reached Richmond. A halt was ordered, 
and the citizen shortly before captured, invited Sturgis 
to his house to take some champagne. He went, 
and so did I. Two or three other good fellows 
joined the procession. The champagne was excel- 
lent for that section, and plenty of it. Very soon we 

128 Army and Other Sketches, 

had from one to two quarts each snugly put away 
under our waistbands. 

About this time Sturgis concluded he could not 
whip 5,000 veterans with 1,200 green volunteers, and 
cross a wide river without boats, whose passage was 
disputed by cannon. Thereupon he concluded to 
take his little force, march to the right, and go up to 
Kansas City. 

Meanwhile I had held some interesting converse 
with our entertainer, the result whereof became 
soon evident. I approached the general : 

" General, I believe, if you don't object, I will go 
on to Lexington." 

" On to Lexington? On to h — 1, you mean ! " 

" No, Sir; not h — 1, but Lexington. I'm a news- 
paper correspondent, — a non-combatant you know. 
I want to see the fight." 

" Why, old Price'll hang you for a spy in twenty 

But I would not listen to the sage advice of the 
somewhat offended cavalryman. Finally, telling 
me to go to the devil, if I was determined to, he bade 
me a gruff farewell. He marched up the river 
toward Kansas City. 

Accompanied by my friend of the champagne 
bottles, I pushed toward Lexington. 

My hospitable friend had kindly exchanged my 
mule for a horse. We were both Well mounted, and 
we went down the " bottom " road " howling." 

Nearly or quite two quarts of chappagne were 
boiling through my brain, whose result was a desire 

A Bohemian Among the Rebels. 129 

to gallop like the wind, and to yell " like the d — 1 " 
at intervals of about ten seconds. 

We soon reached a butternut picket, at a little 
dogg^iy grocery by the roadside. The rate at 
which we were riding, the direction of our route, 
and the amount of yelling which we were perpe- 
trating would have passed us through any rebel 
picket from Bull Run to Fort Smith. 

With a wild cheer for the Plutonian regions, we 
dashed through the ^^icket and on toward Lexington. 
Despite the excitement, and the rate of speed, I had 
time to notice that every tree and fallen log, along 
the road, was occupied by a butternut, with a shot- 
gun or a squirrel-rifle. Sturgis would have had as 
much " show" among these gentlemen as a rat-ter- 
rier in a hornet's nest. 

The rapidity of the ride cooled me somewhat, and 
when we reached the river I was in a condition to 
take observations. Opposite, on high bluffs, was 
Lexington. There seemed a vigorous Fourth of 
July celebration in operation. There was a frequent 
explosion of cannon, and an incessant rattle of small 

The ferry-boat, with steam up, was waiting at the 
bank. We went aboard, and soon after steamed to 
the other shore. 

The streets were full of people. They were al- 
most without exception, sunburnt, butternut men, 
who carried double-barreled shot-guns, or a rifle, 
and had revolvers, or horse-pistols, and bowie-knives 
buckled on their waists. 

My companion and myself pushed through the 

130 Army and Other Sketches. 

crowds to the headquarters of Price. They were up 
stcih'S, in a building on the main street. A single 
sentinel, armed with a United States musket and a 
cavalry sabre, stood at the street entrance. 

Bidding me wait his return, my companion, upon 
mentioning that he wished to see General Price, was 
permitted to pass in without difficulty. In a few 
minutes he returned, and we ascended the stairs in 
company. Entering a door at the left, I found my- 
self in a spacious room, near the street, and in which 
was seated an elderly gentleman in his shirt-sleeves, 
and with gray vest and pantaloons. About him were 
grouped a half-dozen men, most of whom wore sa- 
bres and revolvers, and some sort of gray or brown 

My companion led me up to the elderly gentle- 
man, and said : 

" General Price, this is the prisoner I spoke 

The old man looked at me keenly, and said : 
Who are you ?" 

"Well, general, I am not, as I suppose, a pris- 
oner. I came here of my free will. I am the cor- 
respondent of the . I have come voluntarily to 

your camp, trusting to your well-known chivalry, 
and relying upon my character as the member of a 
non-combatant profession. 

" What is your name 

I gave it. 

" Your residence ?" 
I told him. 

" You came with General Sturgis from vSt. Louis 

A BoJie7Jtian Among the Rebels. 131 

"Yes, sir." 

" How many men has he ?" 

" Pardon me if I dechne to answer." 

"Which way is he going?" 

" You'll excuse me, general, but I can give you no 
information whatever as to General Sturgis." 

"Ah ! Now are you sure that you are not sent 
here by General Sturgis to find out my forces ?" 

" I can only assure you, sir, upon my honor, that 
I have come simply as a correspondent, and that I 
have no intention whatever of playing the spy, 
either in your fiivor or that of the federals." 

There was something in the looks of Price that 
satisfied me that he did not believe me. He was 
about to speak again, when one of his staff' inquired : 

" You say your name is ?" 

" Yes, sir." 

"Were you at the battle of Wilson's Creek?" 
" Yes." 

" Did you write the account of the battle which 
was copied afterward in the St. Louis Republican?'^ 
" I did." 

The speaker turned to General Price. 

" General," said he, " I will say this much for the 
gentleman. That account was a ^particularly fair 
one, and seemed to be written by a man disposed to 
do justice to both sides." 

General Price reflected a few moments, and then 
whispered aside with some of his officers. Finally 
he said : 

" Major Savery, you will take charge of this man, 
and be careful to treat him like a gentleman." 


Army and Other Sketches, 

He bowed courteously and moved to another part 
of the room. Major Savery, a man with a huge 
crimson sash worn from his shoulder, a revolver, 
and a cavalry sabre, led me into the street. I found 
that he was the provost marshal. He led me across 
the street, and then up stairs, into a front room. 
The door was guarded by a man with a crimson 
sash, a revolver, a carbine, and a sabre. 

" There," said the major, " you can look out of 
the window and see the fight. Make yourself com- 
fortable. I must look around." 

He went out. 

I went to the window. The college, the board- 
ing-house, and grounds occupied by Mulligan, were 
all visible. I could see the smoke of the batteries, 
hear the crack of small arms, and see the confederates 
swarming in the ravines and the timber. I could 
see the hospital with its yellow flag, and could, in 
fine, overlook the fight very much as if it were a 

Mulligan had already been cut oft' from water for 
two days. I thought he must be terribly thirsty, 
which reminded me of the fact that I was in the 
same condition. It was close upon night, and I had 
had nothing to eat since daylight, or to drink save 
feverish champagne. I appealed to the guard to get 
me something. He could not leave his post. 

Darkness came, and with it some members of the 
provost guard. They had heard my story from 
Savery, and they regarded me very fiivorably. 

I think that, in those days, I could swear and talk 
horse equal to the average. Therefore, despite my 

A Bohemian A?noj2g the Rebels. 

aristocratic paper collar of four days' age, I " took" 
with these "boys." They surrounded me. We told 
rough stories, played seveii-up, discussed the polit- 
ical situation, and I was unanimously voted a " h — 1 
of a fellow," as somebody worded it. 

My popularity was at high tide, when the door 
was opened, and a lusty nigger shot in like a batter- 
ing ram. He was evidently moving under the pro- 
pulsive suasion of a powerful kick. He picked him- 
self up with a howl of terror, looked wildly around, 
and saw me. His black face lightened with a gleam 
of satisfaction, and he said : 

" Hullo, cap'en, is you here too ?" 

I stared vacantly at the grinning face. To me it 
had no more elements which I could recognize than 
the sooty bottom of a potato-skillet. 

" Whar you from, boy?" asked one of the guards. 

" I'se from de fort." 


" Yis." 

"Do you know this man.?" continued the ques- 
tioner, 23ointing to me. 

"Know him.? Of course I does. He's capin of 
de ban'." 

My late admirers understood it. After all, I was 
one of Mulligan's men, had got out some way, com- 
municated with Sturgis, and was on my way back. 
My popularity was ruined. They began to look 
angrily at me. I was a d — d Yankee, as one man 
expressed it. They left me. 

As for me, I took a good look at the grinning nig- 
ger, got my right foot ready for a kick, which I cal- 

1 34 Ar7J2y mid Other Sketches. 

ciliated should be the most tremendous kick of mod- 
ern or ancient times ; hesitated a moment whether I 
should plant it on the shins, or a broader part of 
the imbecile African, and then — I walked away, 
feeling the utter impossibility of any kick propelled 
by a human leg being able to do justice to the 

The night was any thing but pleasant. It was 
the time of year when the days, in that latitude, are 
pleasant, but the nights nipping and uncomfortable. 
While I was en rapport with the swart brigands of 
the provost-guard, and before the irrepressible Afri- 
can had interrupted my understanding w^ith my rebel 
friends, one of them had borrowed my coat where- 
with to make himself a pillow. He had forgotten to 
return it. And thus, in my shirt sleeves, I shivered 
in the fireless room the weary hours of the intermin- 
able night. 

There was a dirty quilt in one corner. Upon this 
the African curled himself like a huge ball of ink, 
and snored like a wheezy locomotive. At intervals 
of half an hour or so, the windows of the room rat- 
tled, and the air was shattered by the heavy roar of 
the rebel gun — the same that we had heard in ap- 
proaching the city. 

I was hungry, frozen and discouraged. I could 
get nothing to eat. The only drink available was 
an atrocious compound of hell-fire and stench, known 
as peach brandy. I had tasted it, and it scorched 
along its passage like a rivulet of molten lead. 

When the negro had announced me as captain of 
the band, the guards seemed to think me a desperate 

A BoJicmiait A77iong the Rebels, 


character. The next man who was put on guard 
inside the door was a butternut, who had an im- 
mense sabre, with a steel scabbard, a home-made 
bowie-knife, a pair of revolvers, and a double-bar- 
reled shot-gun. He kept his eyes constantly upon 
me, and his finger on the trigger of his gun. 

A little before midnight the door opened, and 
there entered a man six feet four, mainly legs, beard- 
ed, sun-browned, with a torn, slouch hat, and fingers 
with long, dirty talons. He glared savagely at me 
for a moment, and then said : 

" Stranger, d'ye want a little draw poker.?" 

I informed him in the blandest of tones that I 
would be delighted, but I was " strapped," and that 
I couldn't play if the bet was limited to a single 
shirt-button. He went away muttering. 

A little later, the door opened, and there staggered 
in a heavy-set ruffian, in an advanced state of intoxi- 
cation. He carried in his right hand an immense 
horse-pistol, upon whose nipple I caught the red 
gleam of the cap. He lurched into the room and 
fixed, or tried to fix, his bloodshot eyes upon my 

" Lemme guard these Yankee sonsbishes," said 
he, " I want to shoot Yankee sonabish, by G — d." 

He stood swaying upon his feet, and trying to 
cover me with his pistol. The guard made no re- 
mark, but as the pistol was not cocked, I felt no im- 
mediate alarm. 

The room had been a barber's shop, and there re- 
mained a single chair, into which, after vainly trying 
to get a bead on me, he staggered. He almost in- 

J 2,6 Army and Other Sketches. 

stantly fell into a drunken slumber, during which he 
muttered in broken sentences, and gave utterance to 
half articulate oaths and blasphemies. 

He slept but a few moments, and then roused into 
wakefulness. He stared wildly at the wall, then his 
lowering, bloody eyes slowly wandered about the 
room till they fell on me. 

" Yankee son-of-a-bish — shoot you by G — d." 

This time he fumbled with the hammer of his pis- 
tol, and succeeded in cocking it. Again he essayed 
to cover me with its muzzle, which looked larger to 
me than the opening of a barrel. But his nerveless 
hand could not obey the demands of the ruffianly 
soul, and again he gave up the attempt, and relapsed 
into partial insensibility. 

A half-dozen times during the night did he awake, 
and menace me with his pistol. He was on the 
verge of delirium tremens. When asleep, his mut- 
terings, his imprecations, his savage blasphemies, 
were inexpressibly terrible. Toward daylight some 
of his comrades entered, gave him a tin dipper full 
of brandy, and a moment later he fell into a stupor 
from which he did not recover till after daylight. 

There were no other interruptions of note during 
the night, save that occasionally some swart skeleton 
in butternut would open the door, gaze in curiously 
for a minute or two, and, after paying me the inevi- 
table compliment of calling me a " Yankee son of a 
-— ," would go away. 

Daylight came after a month or six weeks, or some 
similarly approximative eternal period. Soon after 

A Boheniian A?7Z077g the Rebels. 137 

reappeared Major Savery. With him came one of 
his Heutenants, named Charles Martin. 

I related my experiences of the night. Savery was 
sympathetic. The African, having slept over it, 
took another look at me by daylight, and concluded 
I was not " Cap'en of de ban'." 

I cultivated Martin assiduously. I was rewarded 
at noon by being released on parole, and by being 
invited around by Martin, who was a native of the 
place, to dinner. 

He had a charming home, a beautiful and intelli- 
gent wife, and was himself the biggest desperado 
on the Missouri river. He was not over five feet two 
in height, and yet, as I have since learned, he killed, 
before the war, a half-dozen men in broils and sin- 
gle-handed fights. 

He took a fancy to me, for some reason, and we 
were inseparable during my stay in the Confederate 
lines. He professed, and I believe entertained, a 
liking for me, and yet he tried, in a quiet way, to 
kill me, on two occasions. I occuj^ied a bed at his 
house, and he slept in an adjoining room. The sec- 
ond night we came in late, and both retired. I had 
been in bed a half hour or so, when, feeling feverish, 
I rose quietly and went to the wash-stand to bathe 
my face. The stand sat against the wall next to his 
room ; and, in moving the pitcher, I made a slight 
noise. Instantly it flashed over me that he might 
think I was listening against the wall ; and the next 
moment, in swift silence, I hurried back to the bed, 
noiselessly entered, and drew up the clothes. I had 
but just done so, when the door of Martin's room 

138 Ar7)ty and Other Sketches, 

opened without sound, and I saw him thrust out his 
head and his right arm, in the hand of which was a 
revolver. He turned quickly to the place where I 
had made a noise a moment before, but there was 
nobody there. He glanced at the bed. I was there, 
and snoring. 

The next night we fell to discussing the battle of 
Wilson's Creek. He said the federal force was 
20,000. I said that it was less than 6,000. 

"Then I lie, do I?" he remarked in the quietest 
way imaginable. At the same moment he was stab- 
bing with the point of his sabre into the sill of a 
window ; but, as he asked the question, I saw him 
" gather himself." 

Had I said yes, the next stab with his sabre would 
have been directly into my breast. Despite his non- 
chalance and calmness, there were a dozen murders 
in a glance which I caught of his eye, as he uncon- 
cernedly asked me the question. 

I am not writing now an account of the defence 
made by the gallant Mulligan. I have done this be- 
fore, and the affair has become a matter of history. 

Suffice it that I remained till the Sunday after the 
surrender, which took place on Friday. In company 
with Martin, during the progress of the fight, I vis- 
ited the rebel lines, and for once was in front, in place 
of behind, Federal bullets. 

I will only add, in relation to my further experi- 
ence, that, during my stay, I received only the most 
courteous treatment, after the first night of my cap- 
ture. I was afforded every facility for writing up 
my accounts, and when I left, on Sunday, I was 

A Bohemian Among the Rebels. 139 

bidden a cordial good-bye by General Price, and 
was presented with a horse by my courteous little 
friend, Charley Martin. I recrossed to Utica, took 
the cars to St. Louis, and was the first to announce 
to the public the details of the siege of Lexington. 


HEN the present President of the United 
States was engaged in the task of trying 
to capture Vicksburg, there was a good 
deal of spare time for ahnost any thing. 
The particular time of which I speak was in Feb- 
ruary of 1863, when the Federal army, or armies, 
lay on the river above and opposite the Confederate 

General Grant did not, apparently, know wdiat to 
do, and all the rest of the army was pretty much in 
the same nonplussed condition. Having nothing to 
do except to do nothing, every one resorted to some 
means to kill time. To capture the man with the 
hour-glass was as much a subject of planning and 
campaigning as the capture of the rebel cit3^ 

Accordingly, there sprang into existence no end 
of inventions to kill. When the weather permitted 
there was base-ball, quoits, and horse-racing. Occa- 
sionally some body got drunk by way of variety. 

I think that a gentleman who ran for Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States, last fall, could afford some 
statistics of high interest w^ith reference to this class 
of pastimes. 

But out-door amusement was not to be depended 

Pap Ftdler*s Ga?ne of Poker, 141 

on. When it did not rain, which it did nearly all 
the time, it was so muddy that land locomotion was 
largely of the wading style of j^rogress. Therefore, 
every body staid in his tent, or on the boats, and got 
rid of time after the most available process. 

A fine little amusement, and a favorite one, was 
one known as draw-poker — called, for short, among 
its more familiar friends, " draw." Every body 
" drawed " who had $5 of his own money, or who 
could negotiate a loan to that amount from an ac- 
commodating friend. But there were a few capital- 
ists who hung about the steamboats. They were 
chiefly cotton-buyers, who were excluded by Grant's 
rigid orders from going beyond the lines. They had 
money in plenty, and were always regarded as a val- 
uable accession to a " little game of draw, just for 
amusement, you know." 

Other valuable adjuncts to the same beautiful little 
game were the higher officers, who always seemed 
to have plenty of greenbacks ; quartermasters, whose 
resources, considering their small salaries, were 
amazing ; paymasters, v/ho were always plethoric ; 
and some Kentuckians, who were down there watch- 
ing the progress of events, and passionately fond of 
whisky, " draw," and moderately non-committal on 
the question of the negro. 

On the steamer Thomas E. Tutt, which lay four 
or five miles above Vicksburg, poker was the fash- 
ionable amusement. It was the supply-boat of Gen. 
Steele's command, and was often the headquarters 
of the general himself. One of his quartermasters 
was Captain, otherwise and familiarly known as 

1^2 Ar7ny and Other Sketches. 

"Pap" Fuller. "Pap" was from Illinois; and if 
the old gentleman loved any thing in the world it 
was a " nice little game of draw, just to kill time." 
When I went to my state-room, at three A.M., I left 
him indulging in draw. When I got up next morn- 
ing I found him in the same business, and trying to 
" raise" somebody " out," " before the draw," " on 
two little pairs." 

The captain had accompanied Curtis in his march 
through Arkansas, and, it was said, he had played 
draw the entire trip. In any case, he reached 
Helena several thousand ahead ; and this substantial 
capital was being increased before Vicksburg, until 
there occurred the incident I am about to relate. 

One day an arrival from Memphis discharged, 
among other things, a couple of travelers, who an- 
nounced themselves as cotton-dealers. They got 
on board the Tutt, and very soon, by their plausible 
manners, made the acquaintance of the regular habit- 
ues of that dilapidated old steamer. 

They had plenty of money, and knew nothing of 
any game of cards. The former was proved by 
their depositing, in the safe of the boat, some bulky 
l^ackages of greenbacks ; and the latter was estab- 
lished by their own assertions. Nevertheless, they 
took a decided interest in the game of " draw." 
They sat about the tables, looked into the players* 
hands, congratulated the winners, and sympathized 
with the losers. 

A man who can learn any thing can learn poker, 
after having seen it played for a week or two. No- 
body was very much surprised, therefore, to discover, 

Pap Fuller's Game of Poker. 143 

after a fortnight, that both of the new-comers had 
become participants in the game. 

Both were cautious, awkward, and small players. 
A " five-cent " game was most to their liking, and 
any one could " run them off" with a two-dollar bet. 
But they improved slowly, although they lost con- 
stantly. Gradually they progressed from a five-cent 
game up to the regular game of a dollar "blind." 

Both seemed to like to play at the same table with 
Pap Fuller. They lost their money with a good 
grace, and just the proper amount of chagrin over 
their bad luck and their lack of knowledge of so 
beautiful a game. 

Qiiite unexpectedly, one night, their luck began 
to change. They had astounding luck. They won, 
between them, something like $250. It was very 
singular, as Pap Fuller observed. He was the prin- 
cipal loser. 

" It's d — d singular," remarked that usually lucky 
veteran. " I never held such hands in my life ! 
Curse me if they didn't scoop me every time !" 

The next niglit it was the same, only more so. 
The two greenhorns were fearfully lucky. The 
game broke up at breakfast. Pap Fuller was some 
$300 out. 

I found the old gentleman, a coujole of hours later, 
sitting dejectedly in his state-room. A tumbler of 
wdiisky cheered his solitude. 

" See here," said the captain, with a most lugu- 
brious shake of the head, " I'm cussed if I see into 
this 'ere little arrangement. Nobody ever beat old 
Pap Fuller in that style afore, especially two green 

Ar7ny and Othei' Sketches. 

uns never done it. The old man is playin' out, I 
reckon." And he conckided his oration with a pro- 
found sigh. 

All that day Pap was invisible, save to one or two. 
I called at his state-room once or twice. He occu- 
pied precisely the same position. He muttered to 
himself constantly. " Every time I had ' threes ' one 
on *em or the tother had a ' flush.' Ef I had two 
little pair, one or tother ov 'em was sure to lay over 
me — specially whe7t one or toiher on ^em had the 
dealt Green are they? Well, now, p'r'aps, and 
then again, p'r'aps not. Pap, you're a cussed old 

In this sort of way the captain delivered himself, 
talking sometimes to me and sometimes to himself. 

And so the day wore away. Night came, and 
with it poker. Then, and not till then, did Pap 
emerge from his den. 

I looked curiously at the old man. He seemed 
somewhat subdued and humiliated. He took his 
seat at the table. The two strangers were already 
in place. 

The game began, and the captain lost. At mid- 
night he had lost $400. The two cotton-buyers were 
the " big" winners. 

" See here, boys," said Pap, " I'm a losing a good 
deal of money. Let's change the ante and see if it 
will change the luck." 

" How mucli ?" queried one of tlie cotton-buyers. 

"Weir, let's make the 'blind' $25." 

I was astounded. The cotton-buyers objected, but 
I detected a gleam of satisfiction in the eyes of both, 

Pap JFidler's Game of Poker. 145 

despite their objections. I feared they would yield — 
and they did. 

My first impression was that old Pap had become 
insane, or utterly reckless. Nevertheless, there was 
a tightening of his lips that indicated something. I 
placed myself behind him to watch his hand. I ex- 
pected something, I knew not what. 

His manner of discarding surprised me. Eveiy 
time the deal was with one of the cotton-buyers, 
Fuller would get a small pair. When the hands 
were "helped" there came to him "threes." In- 
stead of keeping the pair, he began to discard it, 
keeping an ace and king whenever he had them. 

Several times could he have made a " full " had he 
kept his " pair." I began to think he was mad. He 
lost, but not much. Occasionally he would " call " 
a hand, but generally, with an anathema on his luck, 
he threw up his hand. I only saw that he was hold- 
ing an ace and king when he could get them, and 
throwing away good pairs. 

By-and-by it happened that he got a pair of jacks, 
an ace, king, and another. He discarded the jacks, 
held the ace and king, and called for three cards. To 
my unbounded astonishment, when the hands were 
helped, he received three kings. 

He now held four kings, with an ace, the highest 
hand in the game ! In a moment the whole policy 
of the wary old rat flashed over me. 

He led oft' by betting $10. The next man " went 
out." The next was one of the cotton-dealers. He 
raised the captain $35. The next man was the other 
dealer, and he, after some pretended anxiety, " went 



Army and Other Sketches, 

$50 better." The next man passed oat. To his left 
was Pap. 

The veteran's face seemed to express infinite dis- 
satisfaction over the heavy betting. He hesitated, 
and then "saw" the $50 " better." 

The first cotton man dehberated awhile, and then 
raised the pile $100. No. 2 was astounded at such 
heavy betting, thought of laying down, but finally 
went over his friend. Again Pap called the man on 
his right. 

In this way the betting went on. Fuller always 
called the last man, and the other going a little 
higher each time. In a few minutes the amount on 
the table reached the respectable sum of $1,700. 

Up to this point the bets had been by fifties and 
hundreds. At this juncture the captain reached into 
his inside vest pocket, and pulled out an enormous 
roll of bills. 

" Gentlemen," said he, " I'm going to make a 
spoon or spoil a horn. I raise that last $2,000 ;" so 
saying he laid four $500 bills on the piles. 

The cotton-dealers seemed suddenly taken aback. 
They shot suspicious glances at the cast-iron visage 
of old Pap, but it was as void of expression as the 
face of an anvil. They studied, hesitated, and shift- 
ed about uneasily. Finally one went up to the safe 
of the boat and brought out their pile. It was just 
large enough for one of them to call. He " called " 
Fuller, and the other went out. 

The cotton-dealer had four tens. The captain ex- 
hibited liis four kings and raked down the enormous 
pile of greenbacks. 

Pap Fuller's Game of Poker, 147 

The cotton-dealers turned decidedly pale, and sat 
speechless and stupefied. Soon after, without a 
word, they withdrew to their state-rooms. 

" You see, my boy," said Pap, as he poured me 
out a little " commissary," " I made up my mind 
them fellows were sharp. Nobody ever beat me in 
a ' square ' game as they've beat me for the last 

" That is so." 

"So I studied the thing out. I wasn't going to 
squeal. You seen how I worked it. I just held on 
to an ace and king, knowing that bimeby the rest 
would come along. Bimeby they did come. Them 
cussed fools had put up the keards, and they thought 
I had a king ' full ' with jacks. But you see I didn't. 
Oh no, I guess not." 

And the captain proceeded to arrange, and lay 
away, in an iron chest, his winnings, which amount- 
ed to something over $5,000. 

" I'm more'n even with 'em, I reckon," said the 
veteran with a satisfactory shake of his grizzly head. 

The next day the two sharpers borrowed enough 
of old Pap to pay their fare to St. Louis. They left 
in the next boat, and were never again seen in the 
vicinity of the Tutt or Pap Fuller. 


force, composed of three-months' vohmteers, — some 
" Missouri Dutchmen," as they were popularly 
termed, — was crossing Missouri, from Booneville to 

One night, just before dark, Lyon's little command 
reached the Osage Crossing, where we met another 
force, consisting of some Kansas cavalry and a bat- 
talion of regular infantry, under command of Major 
Sturgis. To our eyes, there was nothing ever half 
so warlike and redoubtable as this squadron of Kan- 
sas cavalry, as it was draw^n up in line to receive us. 
With their carbines slung over their shoulders, and 
their long steel sabres, the men seemed, to our unso- 
phisticated vision, to be invincible. A sentiment 
akin to ^^ity percolated tlirough my thoughts as I 
thought of the rebels w^ho should be doomed to meet 
these heroes. 

That evening was occupied, after the camp had 
been established, in visiting the new-comers. Being 

T was in 1861 that I became acquainted 
with the gallant gentleman whose name 
heads these recollections. It was in July. 
At that time, Lyon, at the head of a small 

Recollcctio7is of Ge?z. Fred. Steele. 149 

a member of that gallant band known as " Bohe- 
mians," I had the privilege of going where and doing 
about as I pleased. Therefore, when the colonel, 
who did me the honor to share with me his tent, 
mess, and bottle, went over to pay his res^oects to 
Major Sturgis, I was invited to grace the occasion. 

Never, perhaps, was there a more representative 
military crowd than was embodied in the majority 
of those gathered that evening in Major Sturgis' 
tent. There were the genial " Sam. Sturgis," — so 
termed by his familiars of the regular army, — Capt. 
Gordon Granger, Capt. Dan. Heuston, Capt. Totten, 
Capt. Fred. Steele, Lieuts. Sokalski, Sullivan, and 
others, — many of whom have since achieved a world- 
wide reputation ; and of whom some, alas ! have 
passed forever beyond the domain of convivial gath- 

At that time, as every one knows, a regular army 
officer was something for the mass to look up to. I 
well remember the momentary daze which came 
over me as I was introduced to so many luminaries 
that had risen in the orient of West Point. It speaks 
volumes, likewise, for the suavity of these gentlemen, 
to state that, although ununiformed and introduced 

as plain Mr. , and without any allusion being 

made to my profession, not one of these men, during 
the evening, forgot or mispronounced my name, or 
ignored my presence, in the lively and prolonged 
conversation which ensued. Such an example of 
politeness, let me add, is not uncommon among the 
older army officers, although it is unfrequent among 
no small number of their successors. 

150 Ar?ny aizd Other Sketches. 

I met, on that evening, two events — if I may so 
term them — which I had never met before, and 
which I am certain never to forget. One of these 
" events " — may his shade pardon me ! — was Capt. 
Fred. Steele ; and the other " event" was the elixir 
vltce^ the nectar, of the regular army, — whisky toddy. 

Introductions were no more than ended when 
Sturgis remarked : 

" Orderly, get out the materials. Gentlemen, I 
want you to taste some of Steele's toddy. He is the 
best toddy-maker in the world !" 

The delicate, slender, light-featured Capt. Steele 
came modestly forward, and, almost blushing under 
the encomiums of his chief, went to work. How 
carefully and artistically he labored ! So much of 
the pure sugar, so much water, so much rye ; a drop 
more or less, a grain too many or little, were ruin, — 
were a catastrophe worse than a daub of house-paint 
in the face of Correggio's Magdalene. The ingre- 
dients mixed with a precision greater than that of a 
druggist who puts up a prescription wherein a sin- 
gle additional grain makes the whole a deadly 
poison, — then came the quaffing. The small white 
hand of Steele passed around the tin cups, and then, 
with a guttural " How !" each man inverted his 
measure just above his lower lip. 

Ye gods ! io triumphel — I shall never forget the 
delicious sensations which stole through my system, 
like slow-moving, electric flashes, as the concoction 
ran down my throat. The brew of Steele is abso- 
lutely indescribable. 

Accedant capiti corniia, Bacchus oris. 

Recollections of Gen. Fred. Steele. 151 

But, ill that tent on the Osage, one needed not to 
put on horns to become Bacchus ; , he, the rather, 
swallowed a horn " of Steele's concoction, and 
straightway became a god. 

Such are my first recollections of Steele. He 
struck me then for his finished elegance of manner. 
As toddy succeeded toddy, voices grew louder, and 
bursts of laughter rang out wide through the forest. 
Steele alone did not become boisterous. His pale 
cheeks simply became delicately tinted, as if from a 
touch of rouge ; his blue eyes lighted up, as if from 
inspiration ; and his thin voice became stronger, but 
not louder, as the wassail grew fast and furious. 

Steele was never demonstrative. And so the cool- 
ness with which he faced the iron and leaden storm 
at Wilson's Creek was not recognized as a trait 
requiring universal panegyric or immediate promo- 

The next time I saw him was at Helena, in No- 
vember of 1862. He was in command of the post. 
Wishing facilities for getting about, I called at his 
headquarters. I wrote my request on a card, and 
sent it in by an orderly. He returned almost in- 
stantly with a request to come in. A shaking of 
hands, and then an adjournment to a small room ad- 
joining, in which was a sideboard, and on which 
was a row of gleaming decanters. Close by was 
sugar ; and soon there came water. Steele, although 
then a major-general, had not forgotten his cunning. 
He mixed as dextrously as when a captain ; and I 
could not taste the slightest depreciation in the char- 
acter of his production. 

152 Army and OtJier Sketches. 

It was but a little later that Sherman's force de- 
scended the Mississipj:)i river and debarked on the 
Yazoo bottom. I accompanied General Steele on 
the steamer " Continental." We overtook Christ- 
mas, or Christmas overtook us, on our w^ay down. 
The grand old anniversary was celebrated in due 
form. I retired soon after dark to escape what I 
knew would prove an all-night symposium. For 
hours, sleep was chased away by a jollity that found 
vent in song, anecdote, and laughter. The next 
morning saw a humbled crowd among those who, 
toward noon, crept painfully from their berths. 
Steele alone was an exception. Up betimes in the 
morning, his eye was as clear, his voice as free from 
huskiness, and his hand as firm as though the pre- 
ceding night had been one of profound repose. 

And here, as I approach the battle of Chickasaw 
Bayou, let me diverge to state something which I do 
not think was ever before published. On the night 
that we reached Johnson's Landing, on the Yazoo, a 
party of us gathered in the " texas" of a steamer, to 
while away the evening with a game of cards. One 
of the players was Colonel John B. Wyman, whose 
name will meet with universal recognition. Who 
the other players were, does not matter. 

All that evening Wyman was abstracted and un- 
easy. When playing, he played badly and carelessly, 
as if his mind were on some other subject. Between 
the deals he would rise and pace the narrow room, 
with bowed head and preoccupied air. 

" What is it, colonel?" I asked. 

" I don't know, myself. I think I shall fight to- 

Recollections of Gen. Fred. Steele. 153 

morrow. My boys have never had a brush }"et. I 
want them to do welL" 
" They will, of course." 

" Oh, yes, I'll bet they will ! But, Christ ! how 
uneasy I am. I wish I could hear from home. My 

wife " and here his voice sank into a mutter 

which was undistinguishable. 

And so till midnight. As we were about to part 
for the night, I said : 

" Colonel, if you take your boys on the bluft' to- 
morrow, it will give you a star." 

" Yes, I know ; but something will haj^pen, I 
am sure." 

And then, with a preoccupied air, he added, as if 
to himself, " If I could only hear from home, — from 
my wife " 

And I heard no more. The next morning, in a 
preliminary movement, he was shot through the 
lungs. In less than twenty-four hours after we parted, 
I saw him again, — this time a corpse. 

Just before dark Steele moved his command, on 
the extreme federal left, into jDosition, in front of the 
rebel lines. We pushed out along a high levee, and 
then the command deployed off to the left, and lay 
down. It was as dark as Erebus, and cold as the 
lowermost of Dante's hells. An assault had been 
ordered at dayliglit next morning. As we were un- 
der the rebel guns, no fires could be lighted. 

Just before daybreak, Steele's orderly built a little 
fire behind the gnarled roots of an immense cedar, 
and proceeded to boil some cofiee. Around the tiny 
blaze were gathered Generals Steele ; Hovey, of the 


154 Ar77zy and Other Sketches. 

Illinois Normal wSchool ; Thayer, of Nebraska ; and 

A day or two before, I had pieked up a copy of 
Andrews' Ovid, near some deserted house. As we 
g^athered about the fire, Steele noticed the end of the 
book protruding from my haversack. He pulled it 
out and opened it. Turning by chance to the ac- 
count of the nuptials of Perseus and Andromeda, he 
read aloud, giving a line in Latin, and then render- 
ing it in English. At length he came to the passage : 

"pennisque fugacem 
Pegason et fratrem, matris de sanguine." 

Here he seemed to have some doubt as to the precise 
meaning of a word. Then occurred a discussion 
which was classical and profound, and might have 
continued indefinitely, had not Hovey given an opin- 
ion, which, owing to his Normal School precedents, 
was acquiesced in as being beyond appeal. 

I relate this little incident simply to show Steele's 
complete indifference to danger. Not half a mile 
away lay a line of rebel rifle pits which were to be 
stormed. Just beyond them rose heights bristling 
with heavy guns, every one of which commanded 
our camp. An attack was expected to be made 
within a few minutes, and which every body knew 
must be a failure. And yet, at this precise moment, 
Steele was as cool and unruffled as if the next move 
were to be to breakfast instead of battle. When the 
moment came for attack, Steele moved forward along 
a road swept by rebel guns as coolly as if he were 
leading his company at dress-parade. 

Recollections of Gen. JRred. Steele. 155 

I might relate any number of instances of Steele's 
behavior in battle, every one of which would prove 
him a man who, if not absolutely insensible to fear, 
never allowed the shadow of apprehension to dwell 
upon his face. Once, on the march from Jackson to 
Vicksburg, I saw him enter alone a store which was 
filled with a maddened crowd of Federal soldiers, 
who were drunk to desperation, and who presented 
their loaded muskets at the breasts of their own offi- 
cers. With only a small revolver in his hand, he 
dashed into the very centre of the howling mass, and 
in three minutes he had driven every ruffian into the 
street. There was a murderous glare in his eye, and 
a compression of his lips, which carried a meaning 
that no one of the plundering horde could misun- 

Of his charges on the 19th of May, at Vicksburg, 
and his subsequent military career, I need not speak. 
In every instance he showed himself impervious to 

As a commander, Steele was better calculated to 
lead a corps under somebody else, than he was to 
have charge of an independent department. He pre- 
ferred to execute rather than to plan. It left him a 
leisure on his hands which he could devote to social 
intercourse and intellectual cultivation. 

I believe that he was not married at the time of 
his death. He was always an ardent admirer of 
women, but mainly in the old, chivalrous way. Full 
of anecdote and reminiscence, he yet never made the 
frailties of woman the theme of such relation. In 
all his acts he treated the sex with a courtly, respect- 
ful tenderness. 

1^6 Army and Other Sketches. 

His hospitality was unbounded, providing his 
guests possessed geniality. His mess was always a 
crowded one, most of whom were invited partici- 
pants. Any man who was cultivated was always 
sure of finding himself welcome. 

The intelligence of his death will cause a wide 
and profound sorrow. Those who know him well 
entertain a respect for his memory second to that 
felt for no illustrious man whom the country has lost 
since the besfinning- of the rebellion. 

I will close these recollections with a sketch which 
I once made of the personnel of General Steele, at a 
time, in 1S63, when I was in daily intercourse with 

* * * Like a Geneva watch, he presents but 
little surface. His merits, the fine machinery and 
exquisite balance, are all within. A small and well- 
knit man of 38 ; with a hand delicate and white as 
a lady's ; light complexion, only preserved from 
effeminacy by a flowing beard ; eyes of light blue, 
and a full, compact forehead ; dress neat, elegant, 
with a touch of velvet about the cuff' and collar ; 
always free from dust, and as clean as if stepping 
out for a dress-parade at his alma mater — West 
Point — such are the outer peculiarities of General 
Steele. Without ever being over-dressed, he is, I 
think, the best dressed and best mounted man in the 
army. His prevailing trait is quietness, — a gentle- 
manly sort of repose, — which he carries with him 
undisturbed, whether doing the honors of the table 
to his friends, or directing the movements of a storm- 
ing party, amidst the roar of fiercest battle. Few 

Recollections of Gen. Fred. Steele, 157 

soldiers among volunteers love, but all respect him. 
As a strict, unyielding disciplinarian, he frequently 
excites their dislike ; but his unruffled calmness when 
surrounded by the surging v^aves of battle ; his pre- 
eminent skill in guiding their movements ; and the 
lightning-like rapidity with which he adapts himself 
to the new combinations created in a conflict, — 
compel their admiration, and have won their highest 

He chats with you unconcernedly up to the very 
moment he enters a battle ; and, the instant it is 
over, resumes his sociability, and discourses upon 
general subjects as if the aflair through which he had 
passed were of as little account as washing his hands 
for dinner. 


N the latter part of 1862, for several 
months, I was in Washington. At that 
time, almost every body of note was at 

1 the front ; but now and then the capital 

was enlivened by the j^i'esence of some one who was 
worth taking a second look at. 

I was standing, one day, in front of the Metropoli- 
tan, in company with a son of Dr. Tom Edwards. 

" Do you see that little cuss coming along 3'onder 
inquired my companion, as he pointed up the avenue. 

Following the line of his index finger, there ap- 
peared what I, at first, took to be a boy. It was an 
individual scarcely more than four feet nine, and 
slender in proportion. He approached us at a tear- 
ing gait for such an infant. His slender legs were 
alternately planting a delicate patent leather boot on 
the sidewalk in what was the double-quick of going 
on a walk. A little cane kept time like a pendulum 
made of a straw to the swift movement of his ex- 
tremities. A little eye-glass bestrode a rather large 
nose ; a low-crowned hat was on a small head. 

All this I took in as he approached us. The next 
moment he shot by us like an infant hurricane. I 
had but just time to notice that he had the Federal 
eagles on his shoulders, that he was, although whis- 

Sojue People I Have Met. 

kerless, wrinkled up to about forty-five, and that he 
marched with the upper portion of his body bent 
forward, while his eyes were fixed immovably \\\)on 
the ground, at the regulation distance of fifteen paces 
to the front, as if he were deeply preoccupied : 

" Can't say I do know him. I should say he is a 
very old young man, or a very young old man. Who 
is he, any how ?" 

•'That's Prince Salm Salm." 

" Oh !" 

" Yes. A fighter, too, he is ! I saw him at Bull 
Run. I was running away one way on foot, when I 
met him running away the other way on a horse. I 
just ketched his bridle, and says I, ' Look here, cap- 
ten, we want that horse for the artillery !' He jumped 
oft' without a w^ord and struck out on exactly the 
same gait that I had just been falling back on. I slid 
into his saddle and kept on falling back till I got to 

The next time I saw the noble inflmt, he was 
gorgeous in Federal uniform. On his right arm, and 
towering a full head above him, was a royal dame, 
who, although not really tall, rose to a Juno-like 
stature, when contrasted with her slender protector. 
Her eyes were large, liquid, and filled with a sort of 
oriental languor. They were a blue-black, and 
seemed to express infinite tranquillity and self-pos- 
session. Her hair was very heavy, of a very dark 
brown, and was carried back in bands after a style 
which I can not describe, but which gave force to 
the character of her head without detracting from 
the womanly softness of her face. Her lips were 


Army and Other Sketches. 

full, her mouth handsomely cut, her complexion a 
mixture, as if it were the results of combining the 
more delicate light and shadow of the blonde and 
brunette with the least possible predominance of the 
latter. Her dress was very rich, and yet in no re- 
spect gaudy. Her movement was erect and elastic, 
her bearing a compromise between haughtiness and 
gentleness, with a perceptible dash of both. 

In age, she was about twenty-four ; and in appear- 
ance, she was a woman whom a man would first 
glance at wonderingly, and then turn to look at ad- 
miringly. Such was the Princess Salm Salm as I 
then, and frequently after, saw her, arm in arm, on 
Pennsylvania Avenue, with her diminutive husband. 

One night, Washington was ablaze with excite- 
ment. General Corcoran had returned from a South- 
ern prison, and there was to be a reception, a sere- 
nade, and speeches, at Willard's. At the appointed 
time, I sauntered down to the hotel, in front of a bal- 
cony, from whence the speaking was expected. I 
placed my back against a vacant tree, and, thus lux- 
uriously situated, I awaited the coming of events. I 
had barely arranged myself when I was staggered 
by a tremendous blow on my shoulder. My first 
idea was that I had been struck by a falling chimney, 
and then, upon looking around, I saw a quasi ac- 
quaintance, an office-seeking Goliath, named Captain 
Payson, withdrawing a hand, the shape and size of a 
ham, from my shoulder. 

It was a way Payson had of attracting one's atten- 
tion. He was a man who would awaken a sleeping 
child by firing a 200-pound cannon near its ear, or 

Some People I Have Met. 


knock a man's brains out in attempting to brush a 
fly from his forehead. 

*• I want to introduce a friend," said he. I glanced 
up. By his side stood a gentleman of about forty- 
five years of age, tall, elegantly formed, with light 
hair, a complexion evidently once fresh, but now 
approaching somewhat the color of sole-leather, and 
seamed with a thousand infinitesimal wrinkles, as if 
they had been ploughed with the point of a cambric 
needle. His eyes were a mild gray, his features reg- 
ular and mobile, and his bearing erect and dignified. 

" Gentlemen, know each other. Mr. Blank, Colonel 
Charles Edwards Lester," and Paj^son drew out this 
name till it seemed as long as an average clothes-line. 

" Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold," said the 
stranger in a sonorous, musical voice, and with an 
unmoved countenance ; " all the titles of good fellow- 
ship come to you ! What, shall we be merry } Shall 
we have a drink extempore?''^ 

Piloted equally by the captain and the colonel, I 
crossed the street, and threaded a devious route to 
some secluded retreat, where prohibitory liquor law 
was supposed to have no jurisdiction. We " smiled " 
and " smiled again," and then commenced my ac- 
quaintance with the author of the " Glory and Shame 
of England," and who proved one of the most re- 
markable, in many respects, men whom I have ever 

We returned to the sidewalk in front of Willard's. 
Just then. Colonel Mulligan came forward on the 
balcony and began to speak. 

Lester listened a few moments, and then remarked : 


Arjny a7id Othei' Sketches. 

" By heavens ! There's more electricity in that 
man's oratory than in that of any other man I ever 
hstened to." 

A little later, I had the pleasure of making these 
Iavo men acquainted. Mulligan was a warm admirer 
of Lester's principal work. They fraternized at 
once ; and one of the most brilliant interchanges of 
thought I ever listened to followed, but which came 
to an abrupt termination, in about five minutes, by the 
sudden recollection of the author that it had been as 
much as ten minutes since he had taken a drink. 

Mulligan would not go ; Lester would. And so 
they parted — mutually pleased, and mutually disap- 

Lester was, or is, the finest conversationalist whom 
I have ever heard, and, if he will pardon the addi- 
tional compliment, the most incorrigible bummer. 
For three months, I impoverished myself in paying 
for his whisky, simply to hear him talk. He was 
equally firm on two points ; one of these was, to 
never refuse an invitation to a drink, and the other 
was, never to pay for one. 

The latter reason was founded upon adequate pe- 
cuniary premises. 

No subject was foreign to his abilities. Once Con- 
sul at Genoa, and an extensive traveler, he appeared 
to know all men and all places. He seemed as fa- 
miliar with authors as ordinary men are with the 

It was a custom of mine, on Sunday morning, if 
the day promised to be fair, to purchase a quart of 
whisky, hire a carriage, find the colonel, and drive 

Some People I Have Met. 


somewhere in the charming vicinity of Kalorama. 
Some green and shady spot would be selected, the 
hack turned loose, the bottle conveniently arranged, 
so as to lie equally within " striking distance " of 
both, and then would begin an entertainment which 
I shall never forget. 

My part was little more than to listen, to some- 
times suggest a topic, to oftener re^Dress emotions 
which sprang into active life under his influence. 

His style varied with the subject of his conversa- 
tion. Now, he was calm, equable, dignified ; again, 
his words rushed forth, a torrent of fiery enthusiasm ; 
or he spoke in a low voice, broken with sobs, while 
his face was bathed with tears. 

Where or how he lived in Washington, I never 
knew or inquired. He was to be found at certain 
hours about Willard's, awaiting an invitation to 
drink. He spoke often of his family with pride, and 
never of his wife save with a profound respect. He 
rarely mentioned the latter unless it was to couple 
her with some apropos poetical quotation, in which 
the tender utterances of Milton's Adam to Eve al- 
ways bore a prominent part. 

One day, I suddenly left Washington. The last I 
saw of my friend, the author, the diplomat, the poet, 
philosopher, statesman, gentleman, and (then) bum- 
mer, he was sitting in the reading-room at Willard's, 
with an expression on his face of intellectual grand- 
eur, of dignity, of benevolence, and of — unquench- 
able thirst. 


N looking backward, through an experi- 
ence of a quarter of a century or more, I 
discover here and there faces which, 
framed in diverse events, stand out with 
the distinctness of fresh and well-executed pictures. 

I suppose that my experience, in this respect, is not 
singular ; and that others, as well as myself, can, 
with a retrospective glance, discover these marked 
faces, and which, in some instances, are wholly dis- 
sociated from time or events. 

One sees them as he might a j^ortrait suspended in 
air, or in a vacuum, and entirely bereft of surround- 

At other times, these faces are inseparably inter- 
woven or framed with incidents. Now, it is the 
smoke of a battle ; again, it appears in the green of 
a prairie ; in the white surroundings of a tent ; in an 
illuminated border of angry countenances and flash- 
ing eyes. Sometimes, as I have said, the face alone 
remains ; and I know neither when, where, nor un- 
der what circumstances I saw it. 

Let me try to present copies of two or three of 
these portraits. I can not answer for the fidelity of 
these presentations. To embody and reproduce what 
is but an attenuated memory, is a work which is per- 

Some Renicmhered Faces. 


plexing, unsubstantial, and, in its results, unsatisfac- 

Once, during the war, I was in the wheel-house of 
an iron-clad gunboat, on the Cumberland river. 
About six hundred yards in front of us was a Con- 
federate battery. Looking through the small orifice 
in the cuirassed wheel-house, I could see only a dense 
white smoke which lay in banks about the square 
prow of our vessel. At short intervals, I could see 
a broad flash of red flame rive its way through this 
white surrounding like a vast sheet of lightning 
shattering some mass of clouds. 

A rumbling and massive roar accompanied these 
flashes, and the clumsy iron boat shuddered under 
the recoil of the guns. 

Incessantly, from out the mass of vapor that envel- 
oped us, there came fierce hissings which passed and 
left upon the air a vibration like an echo. At times, 
this hiss would suddenly terminate, and the depths 
of the drifting masses, about us, for a brief instant, 
would become suddenly roseate as if illuminated by 
a flash of red fire. 

My companion, the pilot, seemed little moved by 
these surroundings. He listened to the signals from 
below, and labored to hold the boat immovable 
against the current. He was a tall man, with an 
ordinary, pleasant face, upon which there rested only 
an expression of sober earnestness. 

Suddenly there was a savage hiss from out the 
smoke, then the turret in which we stood seemed 
shattered as by the fall upon it of a thousand tons of 
rock. There .was an explosion that rent my ear 

Army and Other Sketches. 

with deafening violence, and I was dashed violently 
backward. At the same moment, a jet of some warm 
fluid struck me across the face. 

Involuntarily, I turned to my companion, and then 
I saw framed one of those faces which I have never 

His hands still grasped the wheel, and he stood 
bare-headed and erect. His lips were just parted, as 
if he was about to speak ; his heavy hair seemed 
dashed away from his brow, and his gray eyes looked 
straight into mine, with a sad, wondering expression. 
There was in his glance something infinitely solemn, 
and yet expectant, — a mingling of what seemed sur- 
prise and appeal. 

For three or four seconds I looked at this face, 
over which there was moving something that was 
like the shadow of rigidity. His lips parted more 
and more, his jaw began to settle slowly down ; and 
then he sank like a mass of gelatine to the floor. 

A splinter had torn open his breast, and he was 
dead before his hands were unclasped from the wheel. 

The hair thrown back, the pleading and wonder- 
ing interrogation of his glance, the awful shadow of 
fixedness that stole across his face, and the slow drop- 
ping of his jaw, form one of the portraits which I 
see and contemplate even yet with a chill of horror, 
as I review these memorable faces of the past. 

Shortly after the battle of Shiloh, in wandering 
from point to point within the Federal lines, I found 
myself belated, at dark, at the little town of Monterey, 
a few miles west of Corinth. In questioning a sur- 
geon as to the location of a point I wished to find, 

Some Remembered I^aces. 


there resulted a quasi-acquaintaiice, which ended in 
my being cordially invited to spend the night at his 
quarters. We remained in a sort of field-dispensary 
until long after taps, and then I was shown a place 
to sleep, in a tent a short distance away. 

The night was calm, and the regiments were bur- 
ied in profound repose. Not a sound broke the still- 
ness as I wrapped myself in a blanket and com2-)Osed 
myself to slumber. I was lingering in that delightful 
region which div^ides the domain of wakefulness from 
that of sleep, when there came through the still air a 
voice which said : " Oh, Lord !" It was apparently 
a thin, childish tone, weakened as if by suffering, 
and yet penetrating in its clearness. 

At intervals of ten minutes, perhaps, the same 
voice rang out the same " Oh, Lord !" upon the still- 
ness. Sleep seemed to follow it away through the 
darkness. Hour after hour passed, and still I lay 
awake, listening to this monotonous cry. It did not 
seem one of terror. It appeared rather one inspired 
by loneliness, by suffering, and b}^ the absence of 
hope. It was suggestive of the tired moan of a weary 
child, v^'hich wishes for, yet suffers, and is too ex- 
hausted to rest. 

There was a tone in it as if pleading for relief, and 
which, so thin, so weak, so boyish, it suggested only 
the relief to be found on the bosom of a mother. 
And thus, pleading, calling, with a hint of queru- 
lousness, the plaint was heard until the darkness 
began to dissolve into the misty gray of dawn. 

Fainter came the voice as the hours moved on, 
until, at daybreak, it had passed into an incoherent 
utterance, and then ceased altogether. 

Army and Other Sketches. 

Soon after, I arose, 2^''issed out, and found myself 
just opposite a large hospital tent, which lay in the 
direction of the voice which had timed so sadly the 
weary hours of the night. 

Crossing over, I pushed aside the flap, and entered. 
Rows of cots were upon either side, some occupied, 
and some empty. In response to my inquiry, a 
soldier directed me to a cot on the further side. 

'•' He's gone," said my sententious informant. 

And here, upon this cot, I found another of those 
faces which I see yet with the same distinctness that 
I saw it then. 

A slender form was outlined from beneath the 
blanket. The shoulders and head were only visible. 
It was not a poetical face. The hair was unkempt, 
the forehead low, and the contour of the head not 
striking. But the face was small, wasted, and boy- 
ish. The lids were half unclosed, and revealed blue 
eyes that were fixed and staring. The cheeks were 
small and childish, the mouth delicate, while over 
the forehead, cheeks, and chin had fastened itself 
that awful rigidity wliich so completely effaces the 
elastic expressions of life. 

The characteristic of the face that most interested 
me, was its youthfulness. It was so little, so weak. 
It seemed to belong to one who should have been 
pillowed in a cradle, rather than to have been sent 
out into tlie great world to grapple alone with death. 

Whose child it was that thus met death face to 
face, and, unassisted and unsupported, carried on the 
terrible struggle, and was vanquished, I never knew. 
I have only a knowledge of a pale, thin young face, 

Some Rei7iembered Faces, 169 

that lay with its bkie eyes staring unmeaningly into 

Other faces present themselves to this retrosjDect. 
There is an ineffably sad face, womanly, pale, with 
dark eyes that look without seeing, masses of heavy 
black hair carefully arranged, com^oressed lips, with 
a settled expression of despair, which I have seen, 
but when and where I know not. It is not the face 
of a picture, but of a woman whom I have some- 
where met, whose sorrow has always commanded 
my profound sympathy, and whose rare, sad beauty 
yet preserves for itself a warm admiration. 

There are other faces, fixed and intensified as they 
are when in the presence of mortal peril. Here is 
one of a blue-eyed baby, and there another of a lout- 
ish boy, or some laughing girl, or the corrugated 
front of some paralytic octogenarian. 

He who recalls these portraits, who studies their 
traits, will be surprised to find how much more last- 
ing are sorrowful than sunny faces. He will find 
that there are a dozen faces in his mental gallery that 
scowl, are suffering, are flushed with painful emo- 
tions, are staring in death, that sadden, where there 
is one that smiles, and to recall which, and examine, 
is a task of pleasure. 


HE incident I am about to relate is one 
which, during the sublime convulsions 
of a great war, would escape notice. It 
is a little occurrence ; and yet it contains 
volumes of meaning with reference to one of the 
most gallant men who, during the late war, drew 
his sword in the cause of the government. 

It w^as in the month of April, 1863, that I was 
connected with a metropolitan newspaper as its 
western correspondent. At the precise time of 
which I am about to write, Grant had run the Vicks- 
burg batteries, and had crossed a portion of his army 
just below Grand Gulf. The advance, under 
Osterhaus, had repulsed the confederates in front of 
Port Gibson, and had reached Black river on its 
northward march. Here the advance had been 
joined by General Grant ; and a halt of two or three 
days was determined upon, in order to allow a con- 
centration of the Federal forces, who reached all the 
way from Richmond, nearly opposite Vicksburg, 
around by Perkins' plantation, Grand Gulf, Bruins- 
bin-g and Port Gibson, to Grant's headquarters at 
Black river. When these forces were concentrated, 
it was intended to resume the march around Vicks- 
burg via Jackson, the capital of Mississippi. 

A Reminiscence of the War. 171 

I accompanied the advance, and reached Black 
river at the same time as did the commander-in-chief. 
Upon arrival there, I found myself vs^ofully in need 
of a change of clothing. My baggage was all upon 
the boat at the Federal landing opposite Vicksburg. 
When the expedition had started to move below 
Vicksburg, there was a universal disbelief in its 
success. I shared this opinion ; and, anticipating a 
defeat, and possibly the necessity of a hasty retreat, 
I had moved in light marching order ; that is, I 
limited myself to the single suit of clothes which I 
wore, and the necessary paraphernalia of a Bohem- 
ian. The march to Black river occupied some time ; 
the route was dirty ; it had rained frequently ; and, 
there being but few tents with the advance, — the 
baggage being left at the river, — I found myself 
looking more like a chimney-sweep than a respect- 
able journalist. Having learned that the army 
would remain certainly as many as three days at its 
position on Black river, I determined to return to 
the landing opposite Vicksburg, and rehabilitate 
myself in a shape conducive, at least, to cleanliness. 

These particulars are unimportant, save as they 
may serve to recall the Federal movements, and like- 
wise as they may indirectly bear upon the position 
in which I soon after found myself. 

To reach the Vicksburg landing, I had a ride of 
forty miles to Grand Gulf ; then a trip by steamer to 
the other side of the Mississippi, at Perkins' planta- 
tion ; and then a ride of thirty miles more to the 
landing. I calculated that the trip would occupy a 
day and a half each way ; and I should, therefore, 

172 Army and Other Sketches, 

be able to return to headquarters on Black river 
within three days, or before the Federal army re-com- 
menced its advance. 

The weather had been rainy ; after which there 
followed a close, oppressive heat. I made the forty 
miles a little after noon of the morning of my de- 
parture ; caught the tug at Grand Gulf ; and, leaving 
the landing at the other side long before daylight the 
next day, I reached the Federal boats opposite Vicks- 
burg about ten o'clock in the morning. I made the 
necessary changes ; and, mounted upon a fresh 
horse, which was supplied me by a friendly quar- 
termaster, I commenced my return soon after noon. 
The roads were in excellent order, my beast a supe- 
rior animal, and I had no fears as to my ability to 
regain Perkins' plantation in time to catch the down- 
boat in the evening. 

As I have said, the weather was oppressively 
warm. There was not a breath of air stirring, and 
every thing seemed weighed down by the heat, as if 
it were possessed of enormous gravity. My ride of 
the day before, and of the morning of my return, 
was, considering the heat, of extraordinary length. 
I was somewhat fatigued when I started back ; 
and this feeling soon after was succeeded by one of a 
serious and most unpleasant nature. I found that, 
upon the slightest turning of my head from one side 
to the other, I would lose the power to balance my- 
self, and could only prevent myself from falling from 
my horse by instinctively grasping the pommel of 
the saddle. 

I had passed through Richmond when these symp- 

A Reminiscence of the War. 173 

toms attacked me, and I was too far on my journey 
to think of returning to the Vicksburg landing. An 
oppressive premonition seized me, and I feared that, 
in a Httle while, I would become totally blind and 

The route over which I moved was that which 
had been taken by the Federal forces ; but it was 
entirely deserted. The rear of our army had passed ; 
and the few houses which presented themselves at 
long intervals were as silent as graves. The cotton- 
gins were heaps of smouldering ruins ; and the negro 
cabins and the plantation houses stood with opened 
doors and shattered windows. There was no where 
a sign of life, save here and there a broken-down 
mule, and an alligator sunning itself upon some log 
in the bayou. The paunches and horned-skulls of 
beeves, the skins and entrails of swine, broken 
cracker-boxes, dead camp-fires, innumerable foot- 
paths, and deep ruts cut by the loaded wagons, 
marked the route of the passing army. But all life 
had disappeared with it. There was not even the 
defiant bark of the usually omnipresent dogs of the 
negroes. No cattle lowed from the ricks ; no horses 
or mules cropped the springing grass. Every where 
were only desolation, solitude, destruction. Dead 
mules, bloated enormously, and with legs thrust out 
rigidly in the air, appeared at intervals. Intolerable 
stenches from decaying animal matter poisoned the 
air, and loaded each breath with a deadly nausea. 
There was nothing beautiful, save the clear sunlight, 
and the long hedges decorated with an infinite vari- 
ety of gorgeous flowers. 

1 74 Army and Other Sketches. 

As may easily be understood, the absence of all 
lite, the constant presence of death, the decay, the 
ruin and desolation, the sickening odors, all con- 
spired to add strength to the illness which possessed 
me. The death about me constantly suggested death ; 
and the odors of rottenness the decay which seemed 
destined to make me its prey. I grew worse each 
instant. The air seemed to come from a blast fur- 
nace, — a combination of parching heat and nause- 
ating stench. My tendency to fall from my horse 
became each moment greater, and my eyes were 
filled with millions of black, elongated specks, which 
impeded my vision, and which, increasing constantly 
in size, promised soon to become an unbroken veil 
of darkness. I felt tliat I was rapidly becoming 
blind ; and my mind, fost losing coherence, reasoned 
scarcely at all, but, instead, became the abode of 
numberless dire apprehensions. I had, however, 
sense enough to know that my safety, if existing any 
where, lay in advance. I therefore clung tenaciously 
to the mane of my horse, and spurred desperately 
forward. Racking pains ran along my spine, and 
an immense weight seemed to lie upon my brain. 

It was some hours after I left Richmond ; and the 
bayou, whose course I was following, and its levees, 
seemed interminable. I was fast verging upon a 
state of complete unconsciousness, when I saw dimly 
a house, at whose front was a score of horses. A 
few orderlies in blue moved among them, and some 
cavalrymen were warming coffee over a fire kindled 
among tlie shrubbery. On the long piazza, which 
ran around the house, was seated a group of Federal 

A Remiiiiscence of the War. 

officers. My horse, of its own accord, turned in 
through a gap in the hedge, and, coming up to the 
portico, stopped. My head swam for an instant, as 
if whirled by machinery, and then I fell forward 

My next recollection is, that I was seated on my 
horse and moving forward. Upon each side of me 
rode an orderly, by whom I was sustained in my 
saddle. From behind came the clanking of sabres, 
as if from an escort. In front of me rode three or 
four officers, one of whom I recognized, by his star, 
to be a general. I noticed that he was slightly built, 
with light hair, and a smooth, boyish face. I had 
an opportunity to observe these particulars, for the 
reason that, at short intei^vals, he turned towards me 
with a compassionate air, as if to satisfy himself of 
my condition. Once or twice he addressed me ; but 
I was so dizzy, confused and pained that I evidently 
could not answer him satisfactorily. 

For what seemed an age, this slow journey con- 
tinued. After a while we crossed the bayou to our 
left, and, after a long time spent in floundering 
through some low grounds across which the road 
led, we came into a clearing, and just before us ran 
the broad, sluggish Mississippi. I had a dim con- 
sciousness, from the charred ruins of what had once 
been a house, and from other features, that we were 
at Perkins' plantation. 

Some blankets were spread under a tree, and I was 
assisted from my horse and laid upon them. The 
officer with the star on his shoulder seated himself 
in a camp chair close by me, and found time, when 

I'jG Army and Other Sketches, 

not giving directions about encamping, to inquire as 
to my condition, my name and destination. The 
first of these required no answer. As to the others, 
I could tell nothing, except to give utterance to inco- 
herent mutterings. My thoughts possessed some lit- 
tle clearness, but my tongue refused to interpret them. 

Soon after, a small, white tent was raised near me. 
I was offered some coffee ; but the mere odor nause- 
ated me, and it was taken away ; and then I was 
supported into the tent. In one end was a cot, upon 
which were blankets, and clean, white sheets. I was 
assisted to undress, and placed in the bed ; and, in a 
little while, between slumber and illness, I sank into 

The quiet, the rest, with perhaps the fact that my 
attack had culminated and spent its force, restored 
me. I awoke at dawn without a particle of the feel- 
ing which possessed me the day before. It required 
some time to recall my wandering thoughts so as to 
take in the seemingly interminable events of the pre- 
vious day, and to explain the unwonted comforts of 
my position and surroundings. Slowly I gathered 
up the raveled, broken, knotted threads of remem- 
brance ; and then, hastily dressing, I went into the 
oj^en air. 

There was just sufficient light to render objects 
indistinctly visible. All over the clearing were camp- 
fires, some of which yet flickered feebly, while others 
were smouldering beds of white ashes. All around 
these fires lay soldiers in their blankets, and near 
them were long lines of stacked muskets. Close by 
tlie tent was a score or more of horses, some lying 

A Rominiscence of the War, 

down, and some standing with drooping heads, as if 
asleep. Near them hiy saddles and blankets, and 
among them, here and there, were sabres whose steel 
scabbards reflected a gleam from some adjacent 
camjD-fire. Directly in front of the tent, and beneath 
a group of trees, slumbered four or five men, whose 
uniforms, revealed from beneath their blankets, 
showed them to be officers. With his head pillowed 
upon his saddle, I recognized the tender, compas- 
sionate, boyish face of my conductor of the day be- 
fore. His countenance lay upturned, and, while its 
predominant expression was that of serenity, there yet 
seemed to rest upon it a shadow, as if of a coming 

I have but little more to relate. A half an hour 
after, a bugle near the tent sounded reveille^ and the 
sleeping hosts awoke to life and activity. Soon after, 
and not till then, did I know to whom I was indebted 
for what I must always believe to be a care which 
preserved my life, or he know who was the suffering 
civilian whom he had found alone, friendless, and 
almost dying. The former was General T. E. G. 
Ransom. He had cared for me without knowing 
any thing save that I was suffering and needed as- 
sistance. He had delayed his march to accommo- 
date my weakness ; and he had given up his own 
bed, and slept on the ground, without shelter, that 
he might minister to the comfort of an unknown 

I never met that boyish face and slight form again 
in life. Once after, I joined a cortege which moved 
to a cemetery of the Garden City ; and the wailing 

178 Army and Other Sketches. 

dirges of the band were but a faint reflex of the sor- 
row that filled my soid at the thought that the most 
gallant, tender, chivalrous soul of the age had taken 
forevei its leave of earth. 


N the early part of 1862, there was a jolly 
and eager crowd gathered in room 45, 
St. Charles Hotel, Cairo, Illinois. All, 
or nearly all of them were Bohemians, 
who represented the majority of the newspapers 
of prominence in the North. There were the 
sedate and puritanical-looking Richardson, of the 
New Tork Tribune; the foppish exquisite, Carroll, 
of the Louisville yournal; the grave-visaged Matte- 
son, of the Chicago Post; the precise and somewhat 
elegant Whitlaw Reid, of the Cincinnati Gazette; 
the acidulated and under-sized " Mack," of the Cin- 
cinnati Commercial ; the bluff and rotund Bodman, 
of the Chicago Tribune; the saintly-looking Na- 
than Shepherd, of the New Tork World; the 
jaundiced, but gentlemanly, Coffin, of the Boston 
Journal; the tall and slender Lovie, of Frank Les- 
lie; Meissner, of the Chicago Times; " Galway," 
of the New Tork Times; Simplot, of Harper's; 
and some others, whose names do not occur to me. 

Whenever a newspaper man registered at the St. 
Charles, he was assigned to 45, regardless of the 
number already there. As there were but two beds 

i8o Army and Other Sketches, 

in the room ; and as the beds, by the utmost stretch, 
would never accommodate more than three respect- 
ively ; and as there were always from ten to tw^enty 
in the room, — it ever happened that there was a 
margin of Bohemians who slept on the tables, or 
sought the comforts of such slumber as could be 
wooed from a bed of flooring and a pillow construct- 
ed of a carpet-bag, or the hollow of a saddle. But 
it was all right. He who slept on the floor the last 
night would retire early the next night, taking the 
middle of whichever bed was vacant ; for among the 
rules of the fraternity was one that all things except 
tooth-brushes were in common, and he who first 
gained possession of any thing held it, for the time, 
by an inalienable right. 

I recall these things, not because they are precisely 
pertinent to what I am about to relate, but because 
one who dates any occurrence from room 45 can not 
resist going over the whole ground. All about the 
room has a more or less intimate relation with the 
history of the rebellion, and is full of personal inter- 
est, whether one recalls the immaculate Reid, dilat- 
ing upon his intimacy with the family of one who 
has since risen to the highest judicial honors in the 
gift of the Republic ; or Richardson, gravely expound- 
ing Buckle's History of Civilization ; or Meissner, 
going to bed at midday with his boots on ; or C^ii- 
roU, arraying himself, at two o'clock in the morning, 
in faultless linen, and stimulating himself with a cup 
of hot tea, in order to write a letter ; or little "Mack," 
swearing like a seven-foot pirate. 

There was another character there, — a slender. 

A Desperado who would not stay Killed. i8i 

wiry, handsome, fresh-cheeked young man, known 
as Carson. He was from Chicago, was a scout in 
the service of Grant, and a corresi^ondent of a news- 
paper. He was one of the finest-looking and bravest 
young fellows that I ever knew. 

When news was scarce, the Bohemians would 
sometimes accompany Carson on his scouting expe- 
ditions. At first, he had no trouble about volunteers ; 
but, later, there grew apace an unwillingness to 
scout with the young dare-devil, as it was found that 
scouting, under his lead, meant hard , riding, hard 
knocks, and no account of odds in numbers. Hence, 
the eagerness to escape the tedium of no war news, 
finally resulted in recreations at billiards, economical 
draw-poker, and universal growling. 

One afternoon Carson burst into the room with a 
haste that promised something of unusual importance. 

" Now, boys," said he, in a cheery voice, " who's 
in for a little fun ?" 

Fun, h — 11 !" growled the little gentleman from 
Cincinnati, as he rubbed carefully that portion of the 
human frame which usually comes in contact with 
the saddle. "I've had enough of your d — d fun to 
last me till after Lent !" 

Carson proceeded to buckle on his sabre, to sling 
a carbine over his shoulder, and to examine the caps 
of his navy-revolver. " Come, boys, it's only a little 
scout over into Missouri, — a short ride, not much 
danger, and plenty of fun. Come, now, who'll go.^" 

" Not any for me !" 

" I've had a piece of that !" 

" I'll see you about it in the fall !" 


Army a7zd Other Sketches. 

" Go to thunder with your plenty of fun !" 

" One charge of buckshot in my blanket now !" 

Such were the remarks that greeted Carson's invi- 
tation, with a score of others that I have forgotten. 
The only one who said nothing was myself. I had 
but lately reached Cairo, and, having never been out 
with him, I had a strong desire to go. Accordingly, 
I announced my intention. It was greeted with a 
roar of laughter and ironical sympathy and congrat- 

" Bully youth 

" Good-bye, old fellow ! Where do you want your 
remains sent?" 

" Don't get ahead of Carson in a charge, will 
you ?" 

And so on. Nevertheless, I persisted in my de- 
termination, and, an hour later, we had been ferried 
over to Bird's Point, had passed through Dick 
Oglesby's command, and were hurrying on our way, 
at a gallop, through the mud and water of an ex- 
ecrable road that led through the timber across 
the Mississippi " bottom." Besides Carson and 
myself, there were two soldiers. All of us were 
well mounted, and, save myself, all were armed 
with sabre, revolver, and carbine. The mud soon 
grew so deep that a gallop became impossible. 
We therefore fell into a walk, and it was now, 
for the first time, that I was put in possession of 
the object of the expedition. I will give the sub- 
stance of what Carson told me, using my own, in- 
stead of his vigorous language. 

The vast, swampy region opposite Cairo, in Mis- 

A Desperado who would not stay Killed, 183 

soLiri, was occupied by Jeff. Thompson. He was 
no where when sought for, and every where when 
not wanted. He committed no great amount of 
damage, save that he kept Cairo, the base of our 
future operations down the Mississippi and up the 
Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, infested with 
spies, who accurately informed the rebel com- 
manders at Columbus, and in eastern Kentucky, 
of Grant's probable intentions. 

On that morning, a noted bushwhacker, whose 
person and habits were well known in Cairo, had 
been seen near Grant's headquarters. A search had 
been made for him, but he had suddenly disappeared. 
Some information of his haunts had been communi- 
cated to Grant, and Carson had been started across 
the river, with the hope that he might be intercepted 
at a certain point, a settlement some twelve miles 
from Bird's Point. 

As I was further informed, this man was a noted 
desperado, and was the hero of a hundred personal 
fights, in which he was generally the victor. He 
had killed a half-dozen men outright, and had 
maimed and mortally injured many others, until he 
had become the terror of the region which he inhab- 
ited. Several attempts had been made to kill him, 
but, in nearly every case, with a disastrous result to 
those attempting it. He seemed to bear a charmed 
life. He had been " cut to pieces " in a half-dozen 
fights, and yet, in a week or two, he was around 
again, as well, as quarrelsome, and as dangerous as 

It was related that a man whom he had a quarrel 

184 Army and Other Sketches. 

with, had waylaid him one night, and had dis- 
charged a heavy load of buckshot into him. The 
assassin fled as he saw his opponent fall heavily from 
his horse. His horror may be imagined when, the 
next time he ventured into town, and into the vil- 
lage grocery, he found his enemy at the bar, and 
taking a drink with the gusto of a man uninjured by 
buckshot, or bullets. At another time, he was found 
dead drunk upon an immense hollow log, a short 
distance into the country. The opportunity was too 
good to be lost, and so a fire was kindled in the log, 
just beneath him, and he was left to his fate. He 
lay there and broiled until, as was asserted, one 
whole side of him " was burnt to a cinder ;" and 
yet, a few weeks afterward, he was around, appa- 
rently as hearty as ever. 

These and a dozen of similar incidents were rela- 
ted by Carson, and the effect was very far from 
making me pleased with the prospect. Neverthe- 
less, it w^as too late to retreat, and I kept on, hoping 
the best, yet fearing the worst. 

The settlement which we were approaching, 
was the one in which resided this desperado. It 
was suj^posed that he had gone home to spend the 
night, and that we should find him there at any time 
before daylight of the next morning, when he would 
probably leave for the headquarters of Thompson. 

By Carson's orders, we made a wide detour, and 
thereby avoided the little town where our prey was 
waiting. Carson was thoroughly acquainted with 
the country ; and so well did he conduct us that, 
without meeting a human being, or passing a house, 

A Desperado who would not stay Killed. 185 

we reached, about nine o'clock, a road that led into 
the town, and which road was exactly opposite the 
one by which we had left Bird's Point. In other 
words, the town was between us and Cairo, and we 
were upon the road that led from the town to the 
point supposed to be occupied by Jeff". Thompson. 
Our man would approach along this road, and hence 
we were sure of meeting him, if the supposition 
were correct that he would spend the night with his 

We moved up to within a mile of the settlement, 
and then halted at a deserted log-house. The horses 
were hitched behind the building, without having 
their bridles or saddles taken oft'; and every dispo- 
sition was made for instant movement. We took 
turns in watching the road, while the ones not on 
duty wrapped themselves in blankets and slept. 

Daylight came without there ha\'ing occurred any 
thing of note. We waited until sunrise, and then 
mounted and moved toward the town. Carson 
swore savagely under the impression that our man 
had taken some other route. 

The road led up a gentle ascent to a broad table- 
land, upon which the little settlement was located. 
We proceeded at a walk until we reached the brow 
of the ascent, and the place became visible. 

It was a collection of a dozen or so rough houses, 
built around a square. Three horses were hitched 
in front of a small building. The moment Carson 
caught sight of the animals, he exclaimed : 

" There's his horse, by G — !" 

At the same instant, he drove his spurs into his 

Army and OtJier Sketches, 

beast, and shot forward like an arrow. Just then, 
three men issued from the building, and, attracted 
by the clatter of hoofs, they turned toward us, and 
then, with incredible quickness, they threw the reins 
over their horses' necks, and leaped into the saddles. 
One of them swerved to the left, another to the right, 
and the third went like the wind on the road to 

Carson seemed to see only this man, and followed 
directly after him. I followed Carson. 

I happened to be well-mounted, and had no diffi- 
culty in keeping within sight of the chase. The an- 
imal ridden by the man whom we were pursuing 
was a splendid beast ; but its muddy appearance 
and rough coat indicated a long journey. However, 
both Carson and myself gained on the rider, slowly, 
but jDcrceptibly. 

The road ran across the table-land, and then de- 
scended gently for a long distance, till it reached the 
muddy " bottom." 

W e had not descended more than half the road to 
the bottom, when Carson had gained upon the pur- 
sued until he was within thirty paces. At this in- 
stant, he called in a resolute voice : 

" Halt !" 

For a reply, the man wheeled in his saddle, and 
fired a shot from a revolver. I heard the whiz of 
the bullet as it went over my head. 

The next moment, I saw a puff of smoke from Car- 
son's pistol. There was a sharp report, and, at the 
same instant, I saw the butternut coat of the pursued 
give a sudden flap in the centre of his back, accom- 
panied bv the rise of a little cloud of dust. 

A Desperado who would not stay Killed. 187 

But the bushwhacker rode on. Carson was clos- 
ing with him rapidly, and I was some ten or fifteen 
paces in the rear of the latter. 

I saw Carson return his revolver to his belt, and 
draw his sabre. His horse's head now lapped the 
flanks of the other. He brought his sabre to a 

" Halt! will you?" he thundered. 

The man rode on. In an instant Carson drove his 
sabre forward. It entered somewhere near the right 
shoulder-blade, and passed completely through the 
body. The next moment, the man reeled wildly, 
and then, with a vain effort to grasp the mane of his 
horse, he tumbled heavily to the ground. 

A minute later, we had checked our horses, and 
had reined up beside the fallen man. He lay on his 
face ; blood reddened his lips ; his eyes rolled fear- 
fully ; and he gasped as if throttled by a strong 

" It's all up with him this time," said Carson, as 
he dismounted. " However, I'll make sure, and put 
him out of his misery." He pulled out his revolver, 
and, holding it a couple of inches away from, and 
directly over, the prostrate man's heart, he fired. 
There was a quick convulsion of the frame, and the 
bearded, fierce-looking spy, with his long, unkempt 
hair, lay motionless. 

Carson searched the body, and found a paper con- 
cealed in the lining of his slouch-hat. Upon it was 
some highly important information concerning our 
forces, and contemplated movements. 

Leaving the still rebel where he had fallen, we 


Army a?td Other Sketches. 

continued our route to Cairo, knowing that the body 
would be attended to by friends who would follow 
to learn the result of the pursuit. 

About five weeks later, I was at the landing 
when the ferry-boat came over from Bird's Point. 
Some butternut suits attracted my attention, and, 
upon looking closer, I saw a squad of a half-dozen 
bushwhackers, who Were marched ashore, under 
guard of soiile Federal soldiers. I looked curiously 
at them as they passed. One of them was a burly, 
uncouth-looking ruffian. His face was deadly pale, 
and his eyes bloodshot ; but, despite this, I recog- 
nized, in an instant, in the peculiar countenance, the 
bushy beard, and long hair, the desperado whom 
Carson had sabred, and twice shot through the body. 
He appeared but little the worse for his treatment ; 
and, so far as I know, he is yet alive, and as imper- 
vious as ever to steel, fire, or revolver. 

I have only to add that this account is substan- 
tially a true one, as may be proved by scores who 
were in Cairo in 1863. 


jHERE were a good many very respecta- 
' ble men who took a deep interest in the 
late war. Among them were some — in 
foot, no small number — who demonstra- 

ted their interest not by shouldering a musket, or 
buckling on a sabre, but by gathering up such arti- 
cles of value as were scattered in the crash of things, 
and the universal spilling, overflowing, and confu- 
sion that prevailed wherever there were any opera- 

Among these there was a class who may be termed 
gleaners. They followed in the track of the oppos- 
ing forces, and carefully raked up any little thing 
which might prove to be of value. Those gentle- 
men who charged themselves with the pleasing task 
of gathering up abandoned plantations, were among 
those gleaners. Some of them got rich by it. A 
good many of them did not. 

Messrs. John Marsh, and George McLeland re- 
solved some time during the closing years of the 
war, to go into the gleaning business. Both were 
and are Illinoisans. The former is fat and a little 
lame. The other is immensely thin and a good deal 
deaf. Both were rich, but both wanted more. 

190 Artny and Other Sketches. 

Thereupon each of them had tlieir respective checks 
cashed for a few thousand dollars. Putting a clean 
shirt apiece in their carpet-sacks, the)'' bade adieu to 
their weeping families, and embarked on a steamer, 
at Rock Island, and started southward. 

Of the tremendous perils which these two glean- 
ers experienced in getting to Helena, it would be 
harrowing to speak in detail. The number of times 
they weren't shot at by prowling bushwhackers, se- 
creted behind wood-piles, on the levees, was be3'ond 
computation. Probably several hundred would be a 
very low estimate. 

Both laid low, and were prepared for vigorous 
dodging in case of an attack. McLeland usually 
occupied a horizontal position, with his head point- 
ing to one shore, and his feet to the other, under the 
belief that he thus presented the smallest possible 
mark for a rebel rifleman. Mr. John Marsh, who 
was about as thick when lying as when standing, 
was unpleasantly situated. He proposed to his com- 
panion that he (Marsh) ought to have two-thirds of 
the profits, as he, owing to his size, ran two-thirds of 
the danger. 

To which McLeland, being stingy as well as thin, 
declined to accede. And thereupon arose a slight 
coolness between the whilom friends. 

Beautiful Helena was at length reached, and soon 
after, a corpulent traveler, with a carpet-sack and a 
slight limp, and an enormously tall man with a car- 
pet-sack and a sole-leather countenance, might have 
been seen ascending the romantic levee in search of 

Amo7tg the Guerrillas. 191 

A week later, the same two individuals were in- 
stalled as lessees of a thriving, productive, and ad- 
mirably situated plantation. 

And now began the business. Contrabands by the 
score were obtained from the depot, in the propor- 
tion of three obese negresses, eleven children, clad 
at the rate of one shirt to the dozen, five dogs, and 
one lame mule, to each able-bodied negro. Thus, 
the getting together of say twenty able-bodied Afri- 
cans involved the assembling of almost a thousand 
other things, including old negroes and pickaninies, 
feather-beds, and dodger kettles, and other traps and 
paraphernalia without limit, and sufficient to start a 
good-sized city. 

Messrs. Marsh and McLeland being philanthropic, 
were kindly disposed to all these arrivals. They 
opened primary schools, in which the young niggers 
were taught to not chew tobacco, and encouraged to 
stand on their heads, or to execute a break-down. 

All the old aunties of the settlement came in for 
much good instruction from these kindly old men. 
They were put under a gentle course of instruction, 
whose main feature was their duty to get back to 
Helena by the first conveyance, in order not to pro- 
duce a scarcity in the provender of bacon and meal 
laid in by Messrs. Marsh and McLeland. With the 
delightful tractability of the docile i\frican, the good 
old aunties heard and concluded to — stay, which 
they did. 

And thus things went on under the new rule. The 
crop was put in. Save an occasional accident, in 
which the bidky Marsh sat down on a young darkey, 

192 Army and Other Sketches. 

to the great discomfort of the hitter, or the lengthy 
McLehmd broke his head in trying to get into a 
negro shanty, the world went well with them. The 
cotton came in green beauty, and already had the 
gleaners figured up the number of bales, the profits 
thereon, and the pecuniary results, which were divi- 
ded in imagination. 

But a crisis was approaching these two good men 
with the swift noiselessness of a prowling tiger. 

Their plantations were outside the lines. With 
infinite difficulty had each of them broken himself to 
riding a mule. McLeland had the best luck in the 
operation. His length of legs enabled him to stand 
over a mule as the Colossus of Rhodes bestrode the 
passing ships. When he wished to ride he widened 
his lower extremities, and the mule was backed un- 
der by a nigger ; then he lowered himself a trifle, 
drew up his knees to his chin, and was mounted. 
When the mule was refractory and began to plunge, 
then the rider simply lowered his feet till they 
touched the ground. And then the mule walked 

Mr. John Marsh had more difficulty. No small 
mule could carry him, and no large mule would 
carry him. Thereupon he was reduced to an ancient 
animal which was too stiff* to rear, and too old to 
kick. Him he mounted, after many attempts. In 
time, by holding tight to the mane, he could retain 
his position. Experience made him bold, and he 
finally became a most daring rider. If the mule did 
not lower his head and stop suddenly, he would ride 
from Helena to the plantation without once falling off*. 

A7nong the Guerrillas, 193 

One gentle afternoon the two companions mount- 
ed their prancing steeds and started for the planta- 
tion. They passed the pickets at a tremendous rate, 
and entered the open country. 

Each had in his belt some thousands of dollars in 

They were armed to the teeth. McLeland had a 
formidable jack-knife, while about the waist of Marsh 
was buckled a revolver, three inches in length, and 
which had been loaded only some two years pre- 
vious. Thus armed, what cared they for the fact 
that a force of guerrillas had been seen, the day be- 
fore, but a few miles away } Marsh wouldn't have 
given a cent over a thousand dollars to have been 
safe in his Illinois home. McLeland wouldn't have 
raised the amount over 100 per cent, to have been in 
the same place. 

And thus darkly musing, they rode valorously on, 
keeping a vigilant out-look over their shoulders. 

And now the crisis was upon them. 

It took the shape of a squad of butternuts who 
suddenly reined up before them and menaced them 
with huge horse-pistols and colossal shot-guns. 

McLeland saw them, lowered his feet to the 
ground, backed from oft^ his mule, and prepared for 
instantaneous fight. Marsh tried to get off his mule 
in order to flee into Hepsidam, or any where else, 
but there being no nigger handy, he was unable to 
dismount without assistance. A butternut planted 
himself before McLeland, and cut off his retreat. 

They were penned 1 


194 Army and Other Sketches. 

" Hand over !" came in stern accents from the ruf- 
fianly leader. 

After much searching in various pockets, Marsh 
found a j^lug of tobacco, which he sorrowfully passed 
to the brigand. Then he sought long and earnestly, 
and fished out a pocket-comb. " Take it," said he, 
in a sad tone, " 'tis all I have. I am now a broken, 
ruined old man !" 

"You be d — d !" roared the ruffian. "Come, 
out with yer stamps !" 

Again did the sorrowing Marsh investigate his 
clothes. Infinite search produced a shirt-button, a 
dirty collar, and a hymn-book. " There, unfeeling 
wretch, is my all ! Take them, and let me go away 
and die !" 

" Look here, old boss, if you don't shell out some 
greenbacks, I'll " 

Just then there was heard the clank of sabres and 
the clatter of horses' feet. 

"Yanks, by G — ! Skedaddle, boys;" and so 
saying the butternuts drove the spurs into their horses, 
and, in a twinkling, had disappeared in the timber. 

"What's the matter?" inquired McLeland, whose 
deaf ears had not taken in a word of the conversa- 

" Robbers," was the reply roared into his organ of 

" Robbers ! Oh Lord ! Robbers !" and just then 
he caught sight of an approaching dust, in which 
could be seen the outlines of horses and riders. 
" Robbers," he roared ; " there they come again ! 
Oh, dear !" Ho looked wildly about for a refiige. A 

Among the Guerrillas. 


little way off he saw a shanty about which were 
grouped some Africans. Hope awoke in his breast. 
Fiercely he tugged at his clothing. He tore open 
his vest, he unbuckled his money belt, he flew to 
the negroes, and throwing them the belt, he said : 

" Men and brethren, keep this for me till the rob- 
bers pass." They seized upon it and said, " Thanks, 

And then he strode back, and awaited with calm 
resignation the approach of the robbers. They came 

They were a company of Federal scouts in search 
of guerrillas. Their leader was the friend of Mr. 
Marsh and Mr. McLeland. They were rejoiced to 
see him. They told him their heart-rending adven- 

And then the Federals pushed on the trail of the 
guerrillas. And then Mr. McLeland went and 
claimed his money-belt from the faithful Africans. 

The faithful Africans were not where he left them. 

Nor at any other place which he has been able to 
discover from that day to the present time. 

A broken-hearted old man, named McLeland, or 
something like it, now passes a sad existence at the 
lovely village of Geneseo, in this State. 

He has a mournful experience to relate of cotton 
worms, of failure in cotton planting, and of the loss 
of $10,000 which he had in a money-belt. 

Mr. John Marsh has country quarters at Elgin. 
He is still portly, a little lame, and given to relating 
the miraculous adventures which he once passed 
through in cotton planting below Helena. 


HE battle of AUatoona has never been 
written up as it deserves. The few histo- 
rians who have arisen since the close of 
the war have dished it in a paragraph, in 
which were contained a few statistics as to forces, 
the length and result of the battle, and a compliment 
to the endurance and pluck of the Federal com- 
mander. And yet, this battle of AUatoona, consid- 
ered with reference to the numbers engaged, its 
duration, and the interest involved, was one of the 
most — if not the most — desperate, bloody, and gal- 
lant conflicts of the whole war. 

It is not my intention to write an extended account 
of the battle ; it is merely proposed, in the present 
article, to embody a few salient recollections of some 
of the men and the incidents of that terrific fight. 

The soul, the inspiration, of AUatoona was Gen- 
eral Corse. On that occasion, he shot upward to an 
altitude which, for many generations, will permit his 
being a conspicuous figure among the heroes of the 

When I first became acquainted with Corse, there 
was little or nothing in his appearance, position, or 
surroundings, to indicate that he would attain distinc- 

Some Recollections of Allatoona. 197 

tion. He was a major of the 6th Iowa, of which 
regiment John A. McDowell, brother of General 
McDowell, was colonel. The regiment was some 
where in central Missouri, engaged in guarding some 
insignificant bridge. There was no glory in present 
duties, and no brighter outlook in the direction of 
the future. 

Corse struck me then as being dissatisfied. Lately 
defeated as the candidate for a prominent political 
position in Iowa, he had gone into the field to relieve 
the pain of defeat. And now, guarding a railway 
bridge, and subject to the dilatory policy and ineffi- 
ciency of Fremont, there seemed little prospect of 
bettering his fortunes. 

Chafing, and discontented, he was driven back 
upon himself. The result was a species of religious 
outbreak. Corse, McDowell, and other officers, 
formed themselves into a sort of Calvinistic organi- 
zation. The chaplain prayed night and morning. 
McDowell prayed at the table. If Corse did not 
pray in public, he possibly did in secret. 

I remained with the regiment a while, but, finally, 
tired of its forced inaction, and not suited with the 
austerity that took possession of every face, and in- 
disposed to listen to McDowell's homilies on tem- 
perance and morality, I left. 

The next time I saw Corse was a week or two 
later, at Jefferson City. A steady diet of prayer, 
preaching, and Puritanical observances had been too 
much for him. He was going home on sick leave. 
I accompanied him to St. Louis, and thence up the 
railway that led to Burlington. His trouble seemed 

198 Af-my and Other Sketches, 

as much mental as physical. He suffered intense 
pain, and was so worn and racked that, when I 
parted with him at Galesburg, I thought it scarcely 
probable that he would live to reach home. 

And yet the slight figure possessed more vitality 
than I supposed. When I next saw him, it was in 
April of the following year, 1862. He had then 
been assigned to staff duty, and was inspector gen- 
eral, I believe, with Pope, a little above Pittsburg 
Landing. He had lost his austerity, was bright, 
active, and elastic. He had secured something to 
do, and his vast ambition was gratified with the 
prospect of a promotion. 

From this period until the taking of Vicksburg, I 
saw him at intervals. He became attached to Sher- 
man, and being intrusted with some independent 
military operations connected with the disposition of 
Johnston, in the rear of Vicksburg, he so acquitted 
himself that Sherman recommended him for promo- 
tion, and he was made a brigadier-general. 

When Hood marched around Sherman's flank, at 
Atlanta, he meant mischief. He threw himself at 
once upon the latter's communications, and cut the 
railroad between Kenesaw and Allatoona. At the 
latter place were a million rations. To have de- 
stroyed these would have annihilated Sherman. 
From station to station, was signaled the news of 
Hood's movement, and Corse, who was at Rome, 
was ordered to Allatoona with all his disposable 
force. Cars were broken and unavailable, so that 
he was able to embark but 700 men. With these, 
and a plentiful supply of ammunition, he threw him- 

Some Recollections of Allatoona, 199 

self into Allatoona. And then the Confederate forces 
closed in upon him from every side. With less than 
1,500 men, he occupied an insecure position, at- 
tacked by ten times his own number, and knowing 
that upon his efforts depended the safety of Sher- 
man's whole army, and the entire value of the cam- 
paign from Chattanooga to Atlanta. 

Every thing conspired to his isolation. The ab- 
sence of cars from Rome prevented his bringing up 
only a portion of his division. After his arrival he 
attempted to signal to Sherman, who was on Kene- 
saw, twenty miles distant, his strength. He ordered 
the message ; " Corse is here, with a portion of his 
brigade, and must have reinforcements," to be sent. 
The flagman had gotten as far as : " Corse is here 
with — when a rebel shell cut his flagstaff in 
pieces, and then he ingloriously fled. Sherman in- 
terpreted this as meaning, " Corse is here w^ith his 
division." Therefore, he regarded the situation of 
Allatoona as comparatively safe, although he jDushed 
forward Cox to menace Hood, and to assist in the 

It was at one o'clock in the morning that the Con- 
federates commenced their attack. There was a ces- 
sation a little after daylight, for the sending in of a 
demand for a surrender, w^hose tenor and whose gal- 
lant reply have become historical. And then the 
battle was renewed. Allatoona was a small island, 
against which dashed overwhelming and angry tides. 
In a little time, the heavy, surging columns of grey, 
had gradually driven in the advanced and slender 
forces of Corse, until there remained to him only a 

200 Army and Other Sketches, 

small work, near the summit, which commanded the 
supplies, and against which the maddened enemy 
now bent all his energies to capture. 

The little earth-work, with its outlying ditch, be- 
came a red-hot volcano, and a slaughter-pen. It 
commanded the approaches of an assaulting party, 
and it was commanded by Confederate artillery. It 
was red with the flashes of its guns, and the blood 
of its defenders. It rained death like some vast and 
infernal engine ; and it was a huge furnace which 
roasted to cinders its contents. It was deadly alike 
to friend and enemy. 

Extending southwest of this fort was a ridge, from 
which jDrojected numerous wooded spurs. Forming 
behind these spurs, the columns of the Confederate 
Young would deploy on the ridge, and hurl them- 
selves against the defences. It was the most acces- 
sible, and yet the most defensible, position. 

On the north and east sides of the fort the precip- 
itous, broken country rendered an assault in great 
force impossible. Hence, the key of the position 
was the point of the works facing the ridge on the 
southwest. At this point were the main assaults ; 
and here were exerted the most strenuous efforts of 
the defenders. 

A short distance in front of the fort, and across 
the brow of this ridge, was a ditch, waist deep, 2^er- 
haps. Into this ditch were thrown as many men as 
could be spared without weakening the other posi- 

From one o'clock in the morning, save the half 
hour or so occupied in delivering and returning the 

So77te Recollections of Allatoona, 201 

demand for a surrender, the enemy deluged the 
heights with shot and shelL When the smoke lifted 
during the advance of the flag of truce, the grey col- 
umns could be seen, at every point of the compass, 
moving into position, and closing up their cordon 
about the hill. 

If the sparse few who saw these hosts, grew dis- 
couraged, and concluded that defence was useless, 
they were scarcely to be blamed. They were out- 
numbered, ten to one, and many believed that a 
resistance would only provoke exasperation, and 
result in a massacre. 

The commander had, therefore, to struggle not 
only against numerical superiority, but against a 
feeling of discouragement, that took possession of 
many of the men. As noon approached, and the 
attacks of the Confederates had reduced the Federal 
force to less than a single regiment, the discourage- 
ment of his men changed into despair, and Corse 
found the position beset by new difficulties. He 
feared that there might be soldiers who would regard 
surrender as a righteous alternative to a continued 
defence, which promised no more than sj^eedy cap- 
ture and massacre by the men whom the tenacity of 
the defence had driven to madness. To guard 
against any such attempt as to run up a white flag, 
he made himself omnipresent. He encouraged with 
electric words those who clung to their positions ; 
he drove laggards into the ditches with savage im- 
precations ; and he menaced with a cocked revolver 
any one who ventured to hint that further resistance 
was useless. He moved ceaselessly from point to 

202 Ar7ny and Other Sketches. 

point, and was the genius who ruled the whirlwind 
that raged around the crests of Allatoona. 

In the little ditch facing the ridge to the southwest, 
lay a portion of the 39th Iowa infantry, luider com- 
mand of Lieutenant-Colonel James Redfield. He 
was a good man to whom to intrust the key of the 
fortress. He had long courted a fight. He was 
anxious for distinction, and had often requested an 
opportunity to display his merits. He was gratified 
at Allatoona. He was given the post of danger and 
of honor. And gallantly did this other son of the 
Hawkeye State perform his task. Scorning the pro- 
tection of the ditch, he placed himself on the rise of 
ground behind it, whence he could overlook his 
men. It was in full view of the assaulting forces, 
and he became the target of a thousand muzzles. 
He moved about in the iron tempest, and amidst the 
scorching flashes of shell and gun, like an incarna- 
tion of invulnerability and command. When the 
serried masses of grey came up the crest, he was a 
grand central figure in the background. His waving 
sword, fierce oaths, and blazing eye rallied the en- 
ergies of his men, and stimulated them to fresh exer- 
tions. His leg was broken, so that it dragged like 
some foreign body, and yet he refused to leaA'e. 
They brought him a chair, and he planted himself 
squarely in his old position. Bullet after bullet 
struck him, but he never left his post. His words 
of cheer grew fainter, his oaths less forcible, his 
command less imperative. When the smoke from 
one of the terrible assaults rolled up, he was dead. 

A new danger now menaced the Federal com- 

Some Recollections of Allatoona, 203 

maiider. The muskets of his men be<^an to burst at 
the muzzle, and there was danger tliat, in a Httle 
time, further defence would become impossible. In 
this emergency, he gathered all the wounded who 
were able to lift a gun, and, selecting those rifles 
which had burst, he placed them in the hands of the 
wounded, with the bayonets pointing outward. Here 
was an abattis of steel, feeble, it is true, but one 
which enabled him to utilize every element of strength 
in the command. 

About noon a bullet ploughed along Corse's tem- 
ple, and stretched him senseless. Had it passed the 
hundredth part of an inch more to the left, it would 
have ended the attack on Allatoona. But even while 
senseless, the indomitable spirit still controlled the 
prostrate body. An order, " Cease firing," awoke 
him to sufficient consciousness to fear that surrender 
was intended, and to fiercely countermand it. 

A little later, with head swathed in bandages, cov- 
ered with blood, bare-headed, and blackened with 
powder, he was moving among the feeble remnants 
of his force, cursing, commanding, imploring a re- 
sistance to death. 

The men fought doggedly and despairingly on. 
There was not a man of them that expected any 
thing but death. The ditches became filled with 
dead, whose pale faces, rigid features, and ghastly 
wounds tended to fill the souls of the survivors with 
fresh despair. The Confederates charged up to the 
very brink of the rifle-pits, and their dead, as well 
as those of the P'ederals, began to choke the slender 
excavation, and make its occupation a matter of 
more and more difficulty. 

204 Army and Other Sketches. 

Seeing that the defenders of the southwest ridge 
were becoming weakened to an extent that would 
certainly prevent the repulse of another assault in 
force, Corse made preparations to assist them. A 
gun was dragged to an embrasure of the fort that 
commanded the ridge. The dead of the fort clogged 
his progress, and Corse removed them back, and 
piled them like a heap of cordv^^ood, to make room 
for his single gun. Then the powder was cut 
loose from some fixed ammunition, and poured into 
the piece. A blanket was torn into square strips and 
wrapped around a quantity of minie balls. This 
improvised grape-shot was rammed home, and the 
gun sighted down the crest. With hand on lan- 
yard, a sergeant named Croxton, who was badly 
wounded, knelt beside the piece awaiting the criti- 
cal moment. 

' It was about four o'clock, when solid masses of 
grey once more came from behind a protecting spur 
of the ridge, and formed across it. In a moment 
they were in order, and then, with shrill yells, they 
started toward the fort. It was the turning moment 
of the day. They were coming in force, and with a 
momentum that would have carried them over the 
slender obstructions of the ditch, and up to and into 
the fort. 

It was just at this instant that the gun prepared 
by Corse, was discharged. Its deadly contents tore 
through the deep ranks like wind through chaff. 
They melted before the hot blast, and disapj^eared. 

It was the last assault. The day was won. 

In this battle Corse lost over fifty per cent, of his 

Some Recollections of Allatoona. 205 

forces. Nearly one-half were killed outright, and 
but few remained unwounded. He killed, wounded 
and captured more of the enemy than he had men 
in his own command. 

For these reasons do I think the battle at Allatoona 
the most bloody, desperate, and gallant of the whole 


|OR three or four years, I lived in a certain 
I part of a certain city, whose name or lo- 

I cation is unimportant to the purpose of 

II this sketch. It does not matter to the 

philosophic observer w^here a thing occurred. He 
knows that human nature is so alike in its phenom- 
ena, that something which takes place among the 
Kamtschatkans is subject to the same laws and de- 
ductions that is a similar affair developed among the 
citizens of Chicago. 

My place of business lay in one part of the city, 
and my residence at another ; and so far apart were 
they that, in going from one to the other, I usually 
availed myself of a regular public conveyance. Ow- 
ing to my confinement in the office, I invariably, 
when the weather permitted, rode outside. In this 
way, I always had plenty of fresh air, and an oppor- 
tunity to engage in my favorite pursuit of studying 

At a certain part of the route, over which I passed 
every day, stood a two-story house. It was a struct- 
ure of moderate pretensions, with blinds, and a 
piazza, which, in summer, was clambered over by 
luxurious vines. There were two windows below, 

The Revelations of a Window. 207 

and three above. Of these three in the second story, 
one was, I suspect, a " bhnd," for, during my three 
years' observation of the house, I never saw the 
shutters of this particular window unclosed. There, 
then, remained four windows — two above, and two 
below ; and it is to what I saw in, about, and through 
these windows, that I wish to invite the attention 
and judgment of the reader. 

The piazza was roofed over just above the first 
floor windows. In the summer time, this piazza, 
towards evening, became a pleasant place in which 
to sit. The leafy vine shut out the heat, and the too 
curious observation of the public ; and there were 
apertures between its branches, through which one, 
in passing, could obtain glimpses of those who might 
be sitting outside, or of the comfortable and well- 
furnished parlor within, when the shutters were open 
and the inside curtain not drawn down. 

My observation of this house began one spring, 
soon after a new family had moved into it. What 
particularly attracted my attention was the fact that, 
among other members of a family, which included a 
deformed brother and an old lady who appeared to 
be the mother, were two young women, whose ages 
might have been respectively between eighteen and 
twenty-two years. Neither was remarkable for 
either beauty or plainness. They were both tall, slen- 
der ; with rather fine eyes, regular features, and very 
heavy masses of dark, wavy hair. Of course, these 
peculiarities only revealed themselves by degrees. It 
took some months for me to be able to distinguish 
them apart, and to become familiar with their fea- 
tures, form and other traits. 

2o8 Army and Other Sketches. 

Sometimes I saw them seated on the portico, when 
I went up in the evening ; but usually I saw them 
seated at the lower or upper windows. They were 
not always there when I passed, nor were they al- 
ways together. Sometimes I would not see either 
for several days. At times, one would be seated in 
the parlor below, or one or the other would be stand- 
ing at the window above. In any case, I rarely ever 
had a view of them which lasted beyond a single 
glance, or, at most, for more than two or three sec- 
onds. The vehicle upon which I rode always moved 
rapidly, and hence there was but little time allowed 
for observation of any object along our route. 

The reader now has before him the book from 
which he is about to read. This book consists of 
two young ladies, neither ugly nor handsome, of 
medium intelligence, and who, together or singly, 
once in two or three days, were visible at the win- 
dow for a space which varied from one to three sec- 
onds. It is a very small volume from which to 
attempt to read much ; but it will, perhaps, be found 
that there is a good deal more in it than there seems 
to be. Reading lives from faces is a species of short- 
hand process. It is full of delicate characters, each 
one of which expresses frequently a word, and often 
a whole sentence. 

The first thing that attracted my attention' was, 
that neither of the two young women appeared at 
the windows except when she was, so to speak, in 
full costume. They were never visible in the morn- 
ing. Then the shutters were all closed. In the 
afternoon, some of the lower shutters were usually 

The Revelations of a Window. 209 

open ; and, seated in full view of the street, was one 
or the other, or sometimes both. At such times, 
their toilettes were elaborate. Their abundant hair 
was artistically arranged, and their position such as 
to show to the best advantage both hair and dress. 

There was something in the careful toilette and 
studied carelessness of their positions, which led 
to the conclusion that they had arranged them to 
attract attention. That they were unmarried, was 
evident from a hundred things, but chiefly that I 
never detected them in deshabille or gloved for 
household service. They were evidently unmarried, 
and were waiting and watching. 

The object for which they thus waited and watched 
was apparent. Something in their positions and 
faces revealed the secret. The former was always 
suggestive of what I may term " adhesiveness." 
When together, they seemed to incline towards each 
other with a movement that appeared full of affec- 
tion, and which seemed to suggest the want of 
support. They seemed like two vines which had 
commenced twining about each other, and which by 
the very operation suggested the necessity of a 
stronger object upon which to twine. In short, there 
was something in their position with relation to each 
other which, v/hile always attractive and interesting, 
unavoidably left the inference that there was want- 
ing the element of strength to complete the group. 
The void which thus always appeared was one which 
only could be filled by the strength of manhood. 
No young man could gaze upon the picture without 
seeing in it something which powerfully suggested 
to him that he should become a part of it. 

2IO Ariny and Other Sketches. 

There was the same element of strength lacking 
in the positions assumed by either of them when she 
occupied the window alone. Of course, there was 
variety in her attitudes ; but they all showed the 
same general character, and indicated the same result. 
She would sit, for instance, as if waiting. Her body 
would be thrown forward ; her lips slightly parted, 
as if to welcome the comer ; her head turned a little 
one side, as if to catch the first foot-fall of the ex- 
pected one. Her eyes had, apparently, a languid, 
tender expression, as if the one who was coming 
were one who would be met with rapture. At other 
times, her attitude assumed the despondent. Her 
bowed head would rest in her hand ; her half-closed 
eyes would gaze pensively into vacuity ; and her 
whole expression would be that of profound dejec- 

If the one position was suggestive of welcoming 
some one, the other was equally suggestive of disajD- 
pointment at the arrival of no one. The latter 
seemed to possess an expression of infinite loneliness. 
Its inference was, that some one was lacking, — 
somebody was wanted to chase away the loneliness, 
to afford the bowed head a support other than the 
slender hands, and to win the melting eyes from the 
waste of tenderness which they were softly flashing 
into vacancy. 

Was this nature, or art.'' I will not undertake to 
say for the present. Suffice it, that, in all their group- 
ings, attitudes and expression, they suggested invari- 
ably that there was an absent element. That element 
was not that of woman. They seemed to develop 

The Revelations of a Window. 211 

all that was womanly. The missing, the completing 
element, suggested itself as one of strength, of man- 
hood ; of something which was the natural comple- 
ment, and yet the exact opposite, of the various qual- 
ities which they so constantly developed. 

It is probable that every young woman naturally 
expresses the same peculiar ideas that I gathered 
from these groups in the window ; but, ordinarily, 
this is true only to a limited degree. In the case of 
the average of young women, these suggestions are 
often scarcely understood by others ; they are mys- 
terious, tormenting, uncertain ; but in the case of the 
two of whom I write, the inference from their efforts 
was as plain as if written in a book. 

As I have said, I have concluded that they were 
waiting and watching. Deftly and patiently they 
wove a shining web across the sashes. Now one 
labored at it, now the other, and then both. Its 
threads sparkled in the sunlight, and were reflected 
with a shimmer which was sometimes that of silver, 
or again one which was iridescent in the variety of 
its coloring. It was a parti-colored and altogether 
attractive wtb. One day a masculine fly fell into it ; 
and the labor was rewarded. 

I knew the fly was caught, because the labor at 
the web was discontinued ; and I knew that nothing 
save death would turn a woman from her course 
when in pursuit of a husband. That they were not 
dead, I knew, for I continued to see them through 
tke window. 

It was some weeks before I cauo^ht sio^ht of a slen- 
der, weak-eyed youth, with a large head, and whom 

212 Army and Other Sketches. 

I knew to be the fly that had ventured into the Cir- 
cean web. But I knew that he — that is, some he — 
had become entangled. I discovered it tlirough the 
window as easily as I had understood the process 
and objects of weaving the web. I knew it because 
the labor of weaving was discontinued. They came 
to the window as often as before ; but the spirit 
which inspired the old groupings had gone. They 
now came and sat down the same as ordinary people. 
Neither expressed the act of waiting or expectation 
in the turn of her head or the poise of her body. 
They sat down carelessly. They stared through the 
windows at the passers-by precisely the same as they 
would had the people been so many cattle. 

I readily discerned to whose share the victim had 
fallen. It was she who suddenly passed from a con- 
dition of pensive watching into one of common-place 
indifference. Hitherto she had always appeared as 
if expecting some one from the vacuity into which 
she gazed. All at once, she was found gazing 
straight into the street, or looking at her sister, as if 
the question of twining had become obsolete. Her 
hair lost its elaborate arrangement ; her dress was 
now as often calico as silk, — as often thrown on 
loosely as it once had been fitted with the nicest care. 

It was some time before the victim was visible. I 
first noticed him leaning disconsolately against the 
window, and looking abstractedly at nothing. He 
was always alone. He never seemed to form a part 
of the tableau which had once so suggestively invited 
his presence. Sometimes he was sitting in a chair, 
and leaning very much forward. He appeared to 

The Revelations of a Wmdow. 

be possessed of a sort of married look, which ex- 
pressed itseh' in a sort of general settling down of 
his body towards his boots. He seemed to be grad- 
ually passing from a solid to a gelatinous condition. 
His abstracted air, his lonely look, his general ap- 
pearance of " settling down," told the whole history 
of his experience. He had ventured in to make the 
third in the picture in the window. He had desired 
to supply its needed complement. He had offered 
himself as the oak about which the clinging vines 
might twine. He had presented himself as the ele- 
ment of strength which only seemed lacking in the 
grouping behind the sashes. As a third, as a com- 
plement, as an oak, as an element of strength, he 
was evidently a failure. 

Some months rolled away, and, after a while, the 
abstracted, lonely face disappeared from the window. 
An interval occurred, and then there were some strips 
of crape hung on the door-knob. Some body was 
evidently dead ; but the closed shutters gave no op- 
portunity to discover who was missing. 

A week or so later, there was another picture at 
the window. It was composed of the same old fig- 
ures as the one which had been there long before. 
But this time, one was robed in deepest black, and I 
saw that she was a widow. 

My last observations in that direction revealed that 
the grouping at the window was still continued. 
This time, it was the same, only more effective than 
before. The frail, stricken form in black seemed the 
very impersonation of weakness. There was a sug- 
gestion, in every fold of the black robe, of a loneli- 

214 Ar7ny and Other Sketches. 

ness that needed companionship ; a weakness that 
needed support ; a drooping that required the assist- 
ance of a strong arm. There was the same vine 
mutely appeaHng for something whereon to twine. 
There was the same picture, suggesting the lack only 
of masculine strength to secure its perfection. 

And then the two were so admirably arranged, — 
the one to contrast, to serve as a foil to, a suggestion 
for the other. The supreme weakness and woe 
revealed in the attitude and habiliments of the one, 
suggested the need of a companionship more vigor- 
ous, more strong, than were afforded by the other. 
Ever the expression of the unwidowed one appeared 
to be : " Come, strong arms, and aid me to sustain 
this pitiful woe which now leans against weak me, 
and overpowers my slender strength !" 

And thus the glimpses through the window re- 
vealed themselves ; and thus the glimpses at tlie 
window may be revealing themselves at the very 
hour in which I write. The deft web-weavers may 
be still at their labors of stretching the woof of their 
enchantment across the sashes. The threads of the 
web may still shimmer in the sunlight, — may still 
reflect the rainbow in their coloring. 

There are just such windows all over the world, 
behind which are being woven just such webs. 
There are thousands of silly masculine flies which 
will become entangled in them, and, after a while, 
will be tumbled out, tlie mere skin of their former 
selves. Wherever there are artful women, and weak 
young men, there are such groupings, such pictures, 
such suggestions and invitations, and such results. 


HE writer hereof is a clairvoA^ant. He 
can see ahead of him, or behind him, 
when there is nothing to obstruct his 

The other day, after a discussion with a yoimg 
woman on progress, social science, nursing babies, 
Anna Dickinson, woman's rights, and a few other 
matters, such as usually form the staple of chit-chat 
between a young woman and a young man, he fell 
into a reverie on the vast progress being made by 
men and women. From a reverie he passed into a 
clairvoyant condition, in which he saw many things. 
Here is what he saw : 

It was a century later than the great American 
rebellion. Social science had developed with enor- 
mous rapidity. Vast changes had occurred every 
where, but chiefly in the relations of the sexes. In 
short, the conditions which existed in the nineteenth 
century had become exactly reversed in the case of 
men and women. The former had stopped growth ; 
the latter had progressed. At the exact moment 
when the writer, a fair-haired blond of twenty, ap- 
peared among these reverse social conditions, women 
and men had just exactly changed the positions 
which they formerly occupied. 


Amiy and Other SketcJies, 

Woman had progressed to the ballot, and had 
continued on until she had usiu-ped the rights of gov- 
erning. As she seized upon the right, she had de- 
prived man of it, and had gradually forced him 
downward, and repressed him, until he was confined 
exclusively to the family. Man had grown timid 
and modest ; woman bold and outspoken. She oc- 
cupied the counting-rooms ; attended the saloons ; 
ran the billiard rooms, edited the newspapers, tilled 
the public offices, and thronged the hall of the Cham- 
ber of Commerce. He attended boarding-schools ; 
was the domestic in the kitchen ; nursed and raised 
the children ; filled the subordinate departments in 
the public schools ; opened and owned millinery 
shops ; danced in the ballet, and, in short, felt and 
acted like the women of the century before. 

It was a pleasant summer day in July, 1969, that 
this story begins. The golden-haired blonde of 
twenty who is writing this article found himself on 
that particular day in the city of Chicago. He 
seemed to know that he belonged to a previous age ; 
but yet he seemed to belong to the period and the 
society of 1969. He lived at home with his parents. 
His father was a gentle, amiable man, who was pos- 
sessed of every quiet grace and accomplishment. 
His mother was likewise remarkable. He was 
fortunate in his mother. She was a woman of won- 
derful vigor of body and intellect. She was a law- 
yer, and a rising woman of massive judgment, 
prodigious energy, and untiring perseverance. She 
commanded universal respect, and was in a fair way 
to be elevated to the bench. 

A Revelation of Clairvoyance. 217 

The golden-haired young hero of this tale found 
himself sitting upon the shaded verandah of a pala- 
tial house on an avenue on the West Side. Green 
vines clambered over the piazza, and fluttered trem- 
ulously, as touched by a cool breeze. Half con- 
cealed by these umbrageous vines sat our sweet 
young hero. Near him sat his gentle father, engaged 
in hemming a pocket handkerchief. Upon the lap 
of the son lay a book. Near him was a guitar. 
Through the open window was seen his piano, and 
attached to one of its legs a gold medal, and to an- 
other a cross of the Legion of Honor. It was a 
superb Chickering-Steinway, and had taken two 
prizes at the World's Fair. 

In the eyes of our sweet young hero was a dreamy, 
far-away look. His glance seemed to be turned upon 
something immeasurably distant, — some scene peo- 
pled with glorious visions. Anon a smile brightened 
upon his pouting, cherry lips. Suddenly his charm- 
ing reverie was broken by the voice of his fiitlier. 

" My son," said the latter, " of what are you think- 
ing so intently ?" 

A deep blush suffused the face of the golden-haired, 
and it was with downcast eyes and a trembling 
voice, which he vainly tried to render indifferent, 
that lie answered : 

" Oh, nothing, papa !" 

An arch smile stole over the kindly face of the 
father, as he noted these evidences of emotion. 

"i\h, my sweet child ! you can not deceive your 
father. Come, now, confess ; you were thinking of 
Barbara, the law-student !" 

2i8 Army avd Other Sketches. 

Carnation stole over his cheeks, and it was with 
downcast eyes and averted face that he repUed : 
" Oh, papa ! how can you?" 

A moment later, and the blushing youth had flung 
his arms about his father's neck, and his face was 
hidden in his fither's bosom. The low-breathed con- 
fession then whispered in the father's ear by the 
clinging, kneeling son, is too sacred for revelation. 
Suffice it that it was the confession of love's first 
young dream. The father heard it all, and then, 
pressing a kiss ujDon the brow of his clinging child, 
he whispered : 

" Have courage, my Jakie ; all shall yet be well !'* 

With one strong, almost convulsive, embrace, the 
young boy released his hold, and fled with the speed 
of an antelope to the quiet of his room. The old 
gentleman gazed a moment at his retiring form, and 
then, brushing a tear from his eye, murmured : 

"Ah ! sweet child ! How like what I was once 
myself, in }'ears agone !" 

It was night. The mother of our blonde hero had 
returned from her legal labors. 

The famil}' was gathered in the comfortable draw- 
ing-room. The mother sat with her feet on the 
mantel, smoking a cigar, and perusing the twelfth 
evening edition of the Chicago Times. The fother 
and son sat by the centre-table, engaged in em- 

" How does your suit succeed, my dear?" said the 
father, breaking a prolonged silence. 

Oh ! badly," said the head of the family, as she 
threw down the paper with a gesture of vexation. 

A Revelation of Clairvoyance, 219 

"You see," she continued, " the sympathies of juries 
now-a-days are all with a man. If he applies for 
divorce, or sues for breach of promise, a feminine 
jury will always give him their verdict. Times are 
not what they were." 

" Well, never mind," said the affectionate father. 
" Don't think of it. Read us the news in that de- 
lightful, moral and poetical family paper, the Sunday 

The mother complied. Taking up the newspaper, 
she read as follows : 

"Unusual Cruelty to a Husband. — Bridget Stapleton 
was yesterday morning, at the PoHce Court, fined $50, and 
required to give bonds of $500, to keep the peace toward 
her husband. The latter testified that he had passed 
through a siege of abuse and cruelty, which had continued 
for nine years. 

"The Case of Alleged Rape. — Mary Ann Lind, the 
young woman accused of having committed a rape upon 
the person of Jeremiah Elliott, a deaf mute, was arraigned 
at the police court yesterday morning. No evidence was 
taken, and the case was continued until Friday, in bail of 

"A Triple Sentence. — Delilah Guyton, a habitual 
drunkard, and chronic husband-whipper, was yesterday 
morning sentenced by Justice Sturtevant to pay a fine of 
$10, to be imprisoned in the bridewell ten days, and to give 
$200 bail to keep the peace." 

" Women are becoming sadly demoralized," said 
the mother of our golden-haired hero, as she folded 
up the paper. " Nothing now-a-days but husband- 
beating on the part of women, and applications tor 

220 Army and Other Sketches. 

divorce on the part of suffering men. It is terrible ! 
Something should be done to elevate man, and make 
him less dejDendent u-pon woman. By-the-way, my 
dear, you are one of the directors of the Erring 
Man's Refuge ; how does that institution prosper?" 

" Not so well as we could wish," replied the father, 
with a sigh. "To be sure we are effecting some- 
thing ; but prosti " 

A shriek from his son arrested the father's remarks. 
Turning toward the golden-haired youth, he was seen 
to be in hysterics. 

" It was your remark, sir," ejaculated the mother 
sternly to the weeping father. " You do not seem to 
consider his sensitive nature. Why will you use 
such terms as pro .^" 

Another and a louder shriek from the son inter- 
rupted her remarks. Burnt feathers and hartshorn 
were applied, and in a little while the youth opened 
his beautiful blue eyes. 

"Where am I, father.?" 

" Here, darling, in your father's arms," said the 
latter, as he chafed the pallid brow of his golden- 
haired son. He was soon after removed, sobbing, 
but quieted, to his bed ; and then, returning to the 
parlor, the joarents resumed the conversation. 

" We can do but little," continued the father, as 
he retook his embroidery, " because our sex seem 
mad beyond remedy. For every fallen man that we 
take from the bagnio, there are a dozen who take his 
place. Abandoned men boldly walk the streets, 
haunt our places of amusement, and every where 
jostle decency and virtue. The love of display in 

A Revelation of Clairvoyance. 221 

men; their vanity; their confidence in women, — 
these are what lead men to ruin. I am sure I do not 
know where to look for the remedy." 

And thus for hours the conversation flowed apace. 

Another night passed, and another day came. It 
was towards sunset. The boulevards, avenues and 
promenades of Chicago were thronged with its mul- 
tifarious populations. Fair men and brave women 
crowded the thoroughfares, fanned by breezes that 
fluttered inland after dipping their wings in the cool 
waters of the lake. 

It was a motley crowd that flowed along the chan- 
nels of the city. Abandoned men, gorgeous in dress, 
bold in look, and painted like tiger-lilies, thronged 
the streets. At the crossings, and gathered in knots 
here and there, were women, who expectorated to- 
bacco juice, puffed out volumes of cigar smoke, 
indulged in ribald conversation, and commented 
upon the faces and ankles of the passing gentlemen. 

Adown a principal thoroughfare came a beautiful, 
golden-haired young man, dressed with exquisite 
taste. His countenance seemed the home of purity 
and modesty. He saw the bold glances of the 
women lounging at the street-corners, but he un- 
derstood them not, save that they filled him with 
an indefinable terror and loathing. 

As his resplendent figure passed, men turned envi- 
ously, and women admiringly, to notice him. 

At a distance, dogging his footsteps like sleuth- 
hounds, came two ill-favored, female rufiians. Ever 
at such a distance behind the golden-haired vision of 
loveliness, came the two. 

222 Ar?ny and Other Sketches. 

Twilight melted into night, and the beautiful young 
man seemed suddenly to awake from a delicious rev- 
erie, and to become aware that night had fallen. 
Looking about him with a glance of terror, he saw 
that he was standing upon Rush street bridge. Be- 
yond him was the lake, and beneath him Chicago 

He turned to retrace his steps, when suddenly he 
felt himself clasped by rough, strong arms. A wild 
shriek for help rang out upon the startled air ; and 
then he became enshrouded with blissful uncon- 

" Look alive, Semantha !" said one of the ruffians ; 
" that yell '11 bring the perlice. Ef Mother Kennedy 
gets after us, we're a goner." 

So saying, they lifted the inanimate form of the 
unconscious youth, and bore it rapidly towards a 
hack which had constantly followed them. 

At the moment that the ruffianly-looking, female 
driver stood holding the door, and as the two she- 
wretches were about to thrust in the pallid victim, 
there came an interruption. There was a rush of 
swift footsteps, and, a moment later, a stalwart young 
woman, with eyes blazing with wrath, stood upon 
the scene. 

" Unhand him, scoundrels !" and, as she uttered 
this in thunder tones, she launched out from the 
shoulder with both hands, and the she-ruffians rolled 
in the dust. Lifting the inanimate body of the youth, 
she sprang into the carriage. 

" Now, woman, devil ! drive us to my father's. 
You know me ! Woe be on your accursed head if 
you do not obey." 

A Revelation of Clairvoyaitce. 


Cowed by her eye of fire, the driver chmbed 
upon her seat, and drove rapidly away. 

" It is I, Jakie darling. Do you not know me?" 

Jakie unclosed his beautiful eyes. The glare of a 
passing street-lamp flashed in the carriage window, 
and he saw that he was in the arms of his own 
Barbara ! 

We draw a veil over the scene that followed. Suf- 
fice it that, moved by gratitude for his escape, and 
the passionate appeals of Barbara, the golden-haired 
youth consented to name the happy day. It was 
fixed for that day fortnight. The maternal blessing 
was given, and gorgeous preparations were made 
for the bridal. Time rolled away, and, on the morn- 
ing of the appointed day, the golden-haired young 
Thing was arrayed in his bridal garments and sur- 
rounded by sympathetic bridesmen. 

A stately woman advanced, hands were clasped, 
and the solemn words uttered which united indisso- 
lubly the lives of this strong woman and this beau- 
tiful, virtuous man. 

The wa-iter regrets being unable to state what fol- 
lowed, owing to his being recalled early the same 
evening from his clairvoyant condition. The last he 
remembers was being shown to the nuptial chamber 
by his benevolent father. 


O'ST love me, sweet one ?" 

The hot blood rushed tumultuously into 
my burning cheeks as I heard this impas- 
sioned inquiry. My long lashes involun- 
tarily sank upon my cheeks. My heart drummed a 
fierce tattoo against my breast. My long, taper 
fingers worked convulsively with my watch-guard. 
My voice sank back into my throat, and my reply 
came like the low' murmur of waters, as they flow 
modestly from the fountain-head into the garish light 
of day. And the reply ? It was : 
"You bet!" 

She clasped me convulsively to her bosom. My 
head fell upon her shoulder. The next moment she 
tenderly lifted my averted foce, and our lips met in a 
long, clinging kiss. 

This was on the evening of February 5, 1868, in 
a house on the West side. I was just nineteen. 
Born in wedlock, I had already entertained a vene- 
ration for that institution. 

I was just nineteen. My soul was pervaded with 
new and bewitching sensations. Mysterious, and 
yet delicious, flushes wandered through my being, 
coming and going I knew not whither. They were 
like aromatic breezes in search of flowers to breathe 
upon, and findnig them not. These flowers which 

A Leap-Tear Romance. 


my soul lacked were the young buds of passion, — 
of love. The germs — both plumule and radical — 
were there, but undeveloped. Hence, nothing for 
the mysterious breezes to breathe upon, — to dally 
with, — to caress. 

But, on that evening, these germs suddenly ex- 
panded. They budded in modest tenderness, and 
then blossomed. 

She who spoke to me — whose magic awoke these 
sleeping forms, and covered my whole interior life 
with young and gorgeous blossoms — was a lady of 
twenty-one summers. She was a magnificent crea- 
ture. Her luxurious chestnut hair was ruffled in 
front like a wave touched by a disturbing breeze. A 
magnificent water-fall rose from, and intensified the 
expression of, her organ of philoprogenitiveness. 
Her eyes were dark as night, and seemed to float in 
a humid tenderness. Her teeth were diaphanous 
pearls. Her mouth was wide, with voluptuous lips 
that unfolded like a scarlet revelation. They were 
lips as suggestive of what was v/ithin as is the red 
flag of the auctioneer. 

Her shoulders were of an exquisite roundness. 
They were like ivory injected with rich, red blood. 
Her white bosom rose and fell, not with the angular 
regularity of a pair of bellows, but with graceful 
and wave-like undulations. Her slender waist might 

be clasped with one's interlocked fingers. Her , 

but I forbear, lest I become tedious. 

We sat side by side on the sofa. Her arm had 
stolen about my waist, and had drawn me close — 
very close — to her. Her other hand wandered, like 

226 Army and Othei' Sketches. 

an ethereal and shapely materiality, caressingly 
tliroiigh my young moustache. My head reclined 
upon her marble shoulder; m\' nostrils drank in an 
almost imperceptible, but intoxicating perfume, that 
emanated from the warm pillow of alabaster. My 
senses were rocked with the undulations of the bosom. 
The perfume bewildered ; the almost impalpable 
motion lulled ; the touch of her fingers gave forth 
electric discharges that thrilled through my sens- 
uous centres with a result that was half scorching 
and half ecstatic. I seemed sinking into an abyss, 
which yet, while an abyss, was pervaded with 
delicious intoxication. I did not appear to be fall- 
ing, but rather, as it were, floating gently down 
toward something, I knew not what, and which 
half-invited and half-terrified me. 

But suddenly something seemed to call me to my- 
self, — to life, — to reality. With a superhuman 
effort, I lifted myself from out the abyss into which I 
was falling, — falling. I lifted myself up, as a man 
who, standing in a basket, should, to escape some 
deadly peril, suddenly put forth a giant's strength, 
and lift himself over a protecting wall. 

I came back to life from some nameless terror, 
whose outlines I saw beyond me. I saw but out- 
lines. What menaced me, I knew not. 

Raising my eyes suddenly to hers, I saw that their 
blaze was toned down with an ineffable tenderness. 
The richest of carnation glowed all over her cheeks 
and bosom. I was seized with a nameless terror. 

Bidding my wildly-throbbing heart be still, I sum- 
moned steadiness to my voice, and said : 

A Leap' Tear Romaiice. 


" Now that you have wrung a confession of love 
from my Hps, whex will you marry me?" 

The soft hght rolled away from her eyes, as mists 
disappear from the face of the sun. The blood fled 
from her cheeks. Her eyes dropped confusedly. 

"Marry — you?" she stammered. 

" Yes, my own, marry me. Let us, in this mo- 
ment of bliss, name the happy day, as men who, 
slightly drunken with strong tea, agree upon a time 
when they shall meet for an intoxication upon the 
fiery wines of France." 

" Nay, but, love," she said, " let us not now dis- 
cuss this. To-morrow, or next week, we will ar- 
range definitely our future. Let us not, with base 
dates, derange the spell of love's first, young dream. 
What is time to us ?" 

"Miss," I replied, "this minute, — this fractional 
portion of the present second ! Not to-morrow for 

"Ah, you distrust me !" she exclaimed in a re- 
proachful voice. 

"Not distrust," I said, " but— safety." 

" You have no confidence in me, my love ! Be- 
lieve in me, — confide in me, — trust me! Let us 
defer what you speak of till another meeting." 

Suddenly I tore myself from her grasp, and sprang 
into the centre of the room. All the dark perfidy of 
the woman rose before me; her sinister intentions 
flashed over me, like a revelation come by lightning. 

" Fiend ! monster !" I exclaimed, as I menaced her 
with uplifted finger, — " I know you ! Begone from 
this abode of purity ! Such as you have no place 

228 Army and Other Sketches, 

here ! Avaunt ! Qtiit my sight, ere I call upon 
heaven's thunderbolts to annihilate you in the midst 
of your wicked purpose !" 

Paralyzed by my vehemence, she arose, and, with- 
out one look or word of farewell, left the house. I 
stood erect and flashing with haughty anger, till she 
had disappeared, and then I sank helpless and sense- 
less to the floor. 

It was hours before I recovered consciousness. 
Since that hour, I have been weak and stricken, but, 
nevertheless, grateful, like one who has faced, and 
then escaped, a deadly peril. 

I write this for the benefit of my brethren. This 
year is one that menaces us with mortal wrongs. 
Only those who are warned may escape. Even 
those who are warned will need far more than ordi- 
nary resolution to secure their safety. 

Ah ! my brethren, let us be vigilant. For twelve 
months will we be exposed to the attacks of a foe, 
than which there is none more subtle, seductive, and 
dangerous. Let each man who listens to my words 
take warning, and prepare himself for a struggfle 
whose issues involve more than death. 


HE noble, enterprising, and moral Chris- 
tians who met in convention in Chicago, 
for the purpose of kicking over Masonry, 
have my profound sympathies. Why I 
thus sympathize with their efforts, I shall proceed to 

Out in a smiling little railway town there can be 
seen, to-day, the remnants of a man. He now, in 
his reduced condition, weighs only 230. Had not 
there happened to him the fearful event which I am 
about to narrate, he might now weigh as much as a 
ton, or as the editress of The Agitator. 

It was two years ago that this citizen became pos- 
sessed with the righteous idea that Masonry is a 
blight, a wilt, a blast. After carefully examining 
the matter, he felt himself called upon to undertake 
a crusade against the afflicting organization. After 
consulting with several of his friends, he concluded 
to join the order, get its secrets, and then annihilate 
it by revealing them. 

Bidding a tearful farewell to his loving wife, and 
clasping her in a fond, it might be a last, embrace, 
he started on his pilgrimage. 

Going boldly to a lodge-room, he knocked loudly 
at the door, and was bidden to enter. He went in. 

At that precise moment, the air was rent, and the 

230 Army and Other Sketches. 

earth shaken by a terrific burst of thunder. His 
knees smote together, as this menacing roar tore 
through his ear ; but he pressed forward, nerved by 
a high sense of duty. 

It was noon of the following day. The single 
street of the little village was lined with anxious 
faces. Every man, woman, and child had turned 
out to discuss the fate of him who had gone the night 
before to discover and reveal the secrets of Masonry. 
His frenzied wife, clasping an infant in either arm, 
tearing her disheveled hair with her hands, ran hither 
and thither, like a maniac, in search of her loved and 

Since the time of his departure, he had not been 
seen or heard of. It was believed that he had fallen 
a victim to the fury of the conspirators whom he had 
undertaken to expose. 

Gradually the women, and the children, and the 
men, gathered in front of the gloomy pile which was 
believed to contain the penetralia in which met the 
dread Masonic order. With upturned faces, and 
anxious hearts, they gazed at its closed shutters, each 
of which seemed the repository of some awful secret. 

Suddenly the front doors opened, and then, pro- 
pelled by a tremendous kick, there shot into the 
street a horrid form ! 

It was that of the lost husband ; but, oh. ! how 
changed ! He was neither naked nor clad, for upon 
his left foot was a slipper ; upon his right, a stock- 
ing ; around his neck, a noose with a dangling cord ! 

He came down the steps at a headlong pace. His 
eyes were bloodshot, and were lighted with a glance 

The Horrors of Masonry. 


of mortal terror. As he reached the sidewalk he 
recovered himself, and looked wildly around. 

Thus he stood for five minutes, and then a woman 
covered her face with her apron, and the other 
women, a few minutes later, followed her example. 

Then he gave a demoniacal yell, and charged 
through the crowd. Up the street he tore like a 
maddened bull, yelling at every jump, as though 
punched with a red-hot iron. 

The entire population started in pursuit. He kept 
on for three days, and then run himself into the 
ground, and was captured. He was found to be an 
idiot. He asserted that his name was Solomon 
Abift", and he wanted an acacia set out in his ear. 

To-day this victim of Masonic cruelty wanders 
about, aimless and hopeless. He often mistakes 
some body else's wife for his own, and can not rec- 
ognize his own children. He is a melancholy wreck, 
and his friends have determined, as a last resort, to 
secure him a consulship to some foreign nation. 

Does not this affecting incident prove the nefarious 
character of Masonry, beyond all dispute ? 

Some years ago I knew of a most foul murder 
being committed. A Mason was arrested for the 
crime. He was not convicted. 

It was proved that he was 500 miles away at the 
time, and that the murdered man was killed by some 
body else. But what of that.? Who doubts that he 
escaped because he was a Mason ? 

I knew another case which shows the devilish dis- 
position of Masons. A prominent married man 
applied to a friend whom he supposed to be a 

232 Ar?ny aizd Other Sketches. 

Mason, for the degrees. The latter got together six 
others, and organized a plan to receive the appli- 

The latter was received on the night in question, 
in the "lodge" room. Blue lights burned, and sol- 
emn gongs roared, while the seven conspirators 
groaned portentously in chorus. 

And then the applicant was blindfolded and led 
over one turned-up table, across twelve inverted 
chairs, tripped over seven extended legs, soused in 
four tubs of water, slid down one soai^ed board, 
against the grain, and was then brought up to be 

Sworn on an authenticated cojDy of Munchausen, 
to tell the truth, he was interrogated by the G. R. J., 
who was the village physician. 

" Confess," said the latter, " all your sins. If there 
be one crime on your conscience, you must reveal it. 
On your honor, on your solemn oath, have you ever 
done aught to wrong the marital relations of any cit- 
izen of this village 

" Mitst I answer this question,?" said the shrinking 

"You MUST, would you ever pass beneath the 
Royal Arch," solemnly responded Dr. R. "Answer, 
now, upon your fearful oath." 

"No one, then, except — except — in the case of — 
Doctor R. !" reluctantly confessed the candidate. 

Suddenly Dr. R. launched out his right hand, and 
"handed" the candidate "one" on his smeller. 
Then the latter tore off his bandage, and, being 
game, he responded with his left. Then the two 

The Horrors of Afasonry. 


clinched, and fought all over the one table and the 
twelve chairs ; four times up and down the soaped 
board, and in and out every tub of water, for four 
hours and thirty-eight minutes. Both were licked 
so badly that they had to be carried home on 

A suit for divorce followed, and Dr. R. and Mrs. 
R. took separate lodgings. 

This heart-rending occurrence exemplifies, further, 
the atrocious character of Masonry. It is seen that 
Masonry is a convenient garb in which men not 
Masons may perpetrate inhumanities and nameless 
crimes. I charge upon Masonry the breaking up of 
the happy family of Dr. R., by separating him from 
a wife who loved wisely, and two well. 

As a further proof of the infamous character of 
these Morgan-killers, I will expose some of their 
orgies which occurred at Haas's Park, near the city 
of Chicago. 

St. John's day is observed by those people wdio 
killed Moro^an. Mororan is a man who was killed in 
time to carry an election. His niitials are G. E., — 
Good Enough Morgan. 

The men who killed Morgan had red plumes in 
their hats, at Haas's Park, which indicated their 
bloody character. They also all had swords. They 
are the same kind of swords with which G. E. 
Morgan was slaughtered. They also carried several 
immense poles, which are pointed at one end. These 
poles are employed for the purpose of marking spots 
to be used for the graves of those whom the order 

234 Ar?ny aiid Othei' Sketches. 

A good many of the men had engravings of skulls 
on their breasts. These are accurate likenesses of 
the skulls of men who have been murdered by the 
Masons. When a Mason has killed three men, he 
is entitled to wear a likeness of his victims' heads, 
and to take the degree known as Golgotha. 

This is the true explanation of these skull badges. 
Of course the Masons do not own it. They pre- 
tended that they wore these skulls on account of the 
wet weather. They said a flood might come up, 
and they wanted to be ready to scull themselves to 
dry land. 

Each of them had the number 33 among his 
ensignia. This is the number which each of them 
is sworn to kill. 

The JMasonic performances at Haas's Park were 
of a sinister character. How many men and w^omen 
were slaughtered during the orgies of the day, and 
buried among the shadows, no one, unless a member 
of the anti-Masonic societies, will ever know. One 
man not a Mason was discovered among the crowd. 
An hour later, he was found prone on his back 
behind a tent. He was dead, yes, dead — drunk. 

Some of the ceremonies of the saturnalia were hor- 
rifying. One Druidical-looking Mason, with a long, 
gray beard, and lurid spectacles, read something 
from a roll of manuscript. As he did so he was sur- 
rounded by an auditory that occupied itself with 
weird and fantastic ceremonials. His words seemed 
to fill them with a strange power. Unearthly sounds 
filled the building, in which one could distinguish 
gurglings like that of blood from gashed throats, or 

TJie Horrors of Masonry. 235 

the flow of champagne from bottles. The air was 
filled with whizzing pellets the size of corks. Bursts 
of demoniacal laughter tore through the din. The 
further the speaker with the lurid spectacles pro- 
ceeded, the louder grew the clamor. 

It was a fine address — probably. It was a cere- 
monial said to be illustrative of the condition of the 
Masons who built the tower of Babel. 

Some of the Masonic rites are peculiar. As every 
thing about the craft has some mathematical connec- 
tion, the triangle, the square, the pentagon, etc., 
were symbolized. The circle was represented by 
six small rings about the size of a silver dollar. A 
Masonic candidate would take these six rings and 
attempt to throw them, one at a time, over spikes 
driven in a board. To take one of these degrees 
cost twenty-five cents. If the candidate threw one 
of the rings around one of the spikes, he was ad- 
judged worthy and well-qualified. 

Another degree, which was conferred upon a good 
many, was one in which the candidates stood in 
rows, and poured an amber-colored fluid, with a 
creamy surface, into their opened mouths. These 
degrees cost five cents each. One man took forty- 
two of these during the afternoon. He was then 
the highest Mason on the ground, except a thermom- 
eter. There was a thermometer on the ground that 
had reached the 85th degree. 

Every once in a while would be heard a loud 
exclamation. It came from some body who was 
being murdered. In several cases of which I was a 
witness, these fell victims of Masonic vengeance 

236 Army and Other Sketches. 

were outsiders, who were disposed of by being shot 
in the neck. 

Lovely women were there, who mingled with the 
descendants of men who killed Morgan as freely as 
if they had been pious members of the Young 
Men's Christian Association. A woman is a mys- 
tery. Her liking for Masonry can only be explained 
on the ground that it is composed exclusively of 
men. In loving Masonry, she is engaged in a sort 
of wholesale business of the affections. 

The sexton of the order is a man named Berr3^ 
He has charge of the Berry-al services. It has its 
Bailey, which will hold more than any other insti- 
tution of the kind in existence. 

And all this time the killing was going on about 
the encampment. Just how many were slaughtered 
will not be known with certainty until the next meet- 
ing of the anti-Masonic Convention. 

Mrs. Livermore is not a member. She stated in 
a late speech that when she was born she turned hei 
face to the wall and wept because she was a girl, 
and was, therefore, forever debarred from being a 
Mason and obtaining her rites. 

There were several cases of missing men, which 
shows the true character of Masonry. One woman 
missed her husband. They had been long married, 
and she had learned to like him. And now he was 
gone. She commenced a frantic search. She found 
him in a tent, conversing in low, impassioned tones 
with a woman younger and better looking than her- 
self. Her heart was broken at the sight ! Such are 
the doings of Masonry ! 

The Horrors of Masonry, 


They had what was called an encampment. A 
Mason in camp meant one who was engaged in 
something horrible, as can be 23roved by the proceed- 
ings of the anti-secret national convention. The lat- 
ter had some camps. These scam^DS at Farwell Hall 
differed from those camps at Haas's Park. 

Toward night, when the Masons grew tired of 
slaughter, they simply selected their victims, and 
left them bound. I saw scores of them bound — for 
home. It was a thrilling spectacle. One's heai't 
bled as he contemplated their woe-begone faces. 

There were two Masons there who seemed to ap- 
preciate the true character of the order to which 
they belong. Their names are*W. A. Stevens and 
J. Ward Ellis. Both of them are in the habit of 
looking down in the mouth. 

Enough has been said, in this article, to show up 
the true character of Masonry. Their orgies, at 
Haas's Park, among the trees, show their trees-on- 
able nature. The number of nights among them 
prove the darkness of their proceedings. Unless 
every body wishes to be Morganized, they should be 

* Dentists. 


N the foil of 1863 I was suddenly called 
from home by pressing business. The 
affair necessitated a journey of several 
hours by rail, and then the crossing of 
soine fifty miles of country on horseback. I calcu- 
lated to reach the railroad terminus on the night of 
the day upon which I left home. Procuring a horse, 
I proposed to leave the terminus early the next morn- 
ing, and to gain the end of my journey some time 
during the earlier portion of the following night. 
My business would consume two days, and I should 
return in two more ; and hence my absence would 
be included within a week. 

The place at which I was living was a large city 
in one of the Southern States, and the few miles of 
railroad were the beginning of a line which, when 
completed, would cross the State. The point to 
which the road was completed was a town of some 
three hundred inhabitants ; and here resided a dis- 
tant relative of my wife. I had been married only 
a week when the necessity which called me across 
the State made its appearance. 

Very naturally, my wife objected to the journey ; 
but, as it was imperative, — involving many con- 
siderable interests, — I could not yield, however 

A Dream ^ etc. 


gladly I would have done so, to her request. It 
then occurred to her that she might accompany me 
to the terminus of the road, and there, with her rela- 
tive, await my return. My desire for her society, 
and also to gratify her, overcame some objections 
which suggested themselves when I thought that the 
place at which she would have to stay was but poorly 
supplied with comforts, or even ordinary conven- 
iences. I hinted at the existence of these probable 
discomforts ; but it was of no avail. 

" That may all be," said she ; " but they will not 
last long ; and, besides, I think them a very cheap 
price to pay for the pleasure of your society to T. 
and return." 

Women, with the dew of girlhood yet fresh on 
their lips, and sparkling in the sheen of their eyes, 
possess irresistible argumentative powers, although, 
mayhap, they have never heard of Whatelv. 

Of course, I consented ; and, at a little before dusk 
that same day, wx found ourselves dismounting from 
the train at T. I found, without difficulty, the resi- 
dence of my wife's relative ; and, in the course of 
half an hour, we were under his roof. 

The residence of my wife's relative — whom I will 
call Hermance — was situated about three-fourths of 
a mile fror* the outskirts of the town. It was a 
farm-house of the better class, and was surrounded 
by the usual negro cabins and out-houses. 

At that time, the war was in progress ; and the 
country about Hermance's was liable to be visited 
by roaming bands belonging to both sides. My 
friend had never taken an active part in politics ; 

240 Army a?td Other Sketches. 

and, being supposed to be quiet, consei"\'ative and 
inoffensive, he had the good will of both the bellig- 
erents, and, in consequence, was rarely disturbed by 
either. The most that had hitherto happened to 
him was the taking of a horse, or the slaughter of 
some of his hogs ; but even these depredations were 
not authorized, and were committed against the 
orders of, or were unknown to, responsible parties. 

Just at that time, rumors reached the place that a 
one-armed guerrilla, noted for his brutality and dis- 
regard of all right, was, with a small force, ravaging 
the countr}', some seventy miles distant. But he 
had hitherto confined his operations to the lower 
portion of the State, and it was not expected that he 
would venture so far north as T. His performances 
were, therefore, discussed simply as a portion of the 
current news of the day, and not with any view to 
his probable appearance in that neighborhood. 

The unsettled state of the country disquieted me 
somewhat ; and I, therefore, urged upon my wife to 
return to the city in the morning train. She refused, 
and was the more obstinate in her refusal for the 
reason that Hermance and his family were emphatic 
in pooh-poohing the idea that the slightest danger 
was to be incurred by her remaining. 

"And tlien, only think," said my wife, " of the 
long journey to town, all alone. Besides, I want 
some fresh air ; and then, by staying here, I shall see 
you ever so many hours sooner." 

There is no particular use of reasoning during the 
honeymoon ; logic is an after-growth ; and, conse- 
quently, I soon found myself under the necessity of 

A Dream ^ etc. 


yielding. I gave a reluctant and foreboding consent ; 
and the next morning, at daylight, upon one of Her- 
mance's imequaled horses, I was cantering up the 
valley-road that led toward my destination. 

It is not necessary to describe the details of my 
ride, further than to say that the weather was superb 
and bracing, the roads dry, hard, and excellent. Just 
before sundown, I drew rein at a dilapidated "hotel" 

of a half-ruined country town named R , which 

was the place to which my business called me. Two 
or three times during the day, I met country people, 
and, in our exchange of news, I had been told that 
" One-Armed Johnson," as he was termed, was 
moving northward. At each time that this rumor 
was mentioned, it was accompanied with some 
account of some fiendish atrocity said to have been 
committed by this ferocious leader. It was said that 
he had shot down tliis one in cold blood in the midst 
of his family ; and that, in another case, the wife 
and daughter of some other had been given over to 
the brutal lusts of the gang, in the very presence of 
husband and brothers. 

These things did not have much effect upon me 
until I had retired to my bed at night. During the 
day, the swift rush of tlie air, and the constant acces- 
sion of new subjects, — of trees draped in all the 
variegated glories of autumn ; of flocks of wild tur- 
keys crossing the road before me ; of an occasional 
deer bounding away in the depths of some wood, — 
all these had distracted my attention, and left me 
little opportunity of pondering upon the information 
I had received. 


242 Army and Other Sketches. 

But, with this silence of night, my mind had full 
scope for the examination of the intelligence which 
I had received. As report had it, Johnson was 
marching directly towards T. ; and, as he was only 
some seventy miles distant three days before, it began 
to seem to my excited imagination that, if he con- 
tinued northward, he would, within a very short 
time, reach the neighborhood in which I had left 
my wife. 

Disagreeable as were these reflections, I could 
console myself only with the idea that I could not, 
at the instant, do any thing to prevent what might 
occur. Much troubled, but hoping for the best, I 
finally, and, with many starts and wakings, fell into 
a profound sleep. 

How long I slept before my thoughts began to 
take shape and form themselves in regular processes, 
I can not remember. The most I can recall with 
reference to this portion of the night is, that I fell 
asleep after a long time ; and then there ensued an 
oblivion which surrounded me, as it were, by a great 
waste of darkness. 

When my recollection grasps what first occurred, 
I seemed to be some where in the midst of a chaos, 
of which I was the only living figure. I seemed 
upon a vast plain, like that which would remain 
were the sun blotted out, were vegetation to die, and 
wxre all motion and life struck from existence. A 
great darkness lay upon every thing, through which 
I could peer for a short distance, but in which I could 
only discover vast rocks, w^ith precipitous sides and 
innumerable points. Among these rocks there were 

A Dream^ etc. 


no paths, no voices, — nothing but a silence, which 
was awful in its extent. 

How long I wandered here, I can not tell. I 
seemed to have no definite aim ; but it appeared as 
if I sought something whose character I did not 
know. This something was to be gotten only by 
moving forward ; and thus I continued to wander 
for a length of time, which seemed to be that of a 
lifetime. For all these years, I groped amidst this 
darkness, — clambering over and around the ever- 
lasting rocks, — and meeting always with only the 
profound silence and the interminable gloom. My 
companions were the unyielding rocks, the obscurity 
and the silence. I would attempt to cry out at 
times ; but my voice seemed frozen. It was as 
noiseless as a stream locked in the embraces of 

After what seemed a century of wandering amidst 
the solitude, the pointed rocks, and the darkness, 
there came a period which possessed motion, but no 
life. Truncated cones, with their smaller ends 
touching the earth, and their bases high in air, and 
inclined a little from the perpendicular, seemed to 
revolve with enormous rapidity. Besides these, there 
were immense globes, and they spun about their 
centres with infinite swiftness. Both were the color 
of burnished silver ; both were stationary, save in 
their revolutions about their own centres. Noise- 
lessly, but with a dizzying swiftness, their bodies 
revolved. There was still no life, — only these forms 
and their revolutions. There was no seeming cause 
for their motion. They spun like the balance-wheel 
of a machine after the power has been removed. 

244 Ar7Jiy and Other Sketches. 

To the world of my dreams there were now 
added Hght and motion. It needed yet life for it? 

In the new phase of my dream, to which there 
had come light and motion, I appeared to have no 
important part. I moved among the whirling cones 
and spheres as if they had been non-resistant. When 
I ran against one of them, it seemed to enter my 
form as if I had been simple air ; and, while one 
was thus against me, or partly within me, its motion 
kept up continuously, and I experienced a peculiar 
feeling, as if that portion of my form, or body, 
within the reach of the whirling object, had become 
a part of it, and as if it had partaken of the motion. 

This light and this motion gin^e me no impression, 
save a dim premonition that they indicated the swift 
approach of some terrible catastrophe. 

Motion and light had been added to the original 
chaos of my dream. Suddenly there came Life. 

A transition, so rapid that it left me no time to 
note the details of how the one disappeared and the 
other came, suddenly occurred. In an instant the 
revolving cones and spheres gave place to a wooded 
road winding down the valley of a shallow stream. 
I recojjnized it as the road alonof which I had trav- 
eled the morning previous. At the same instant 
there came the resonant clatter of hoofs ; and, a 
moment after, a party of horsemen, on a swift gallop, 
emerged from the forest, and moved in the direction 
of the settlement I had left in the morning. 

They were a rough, ferocious crowd. They were 
dressed in almost every conceivable manner, from 

A Dream ^ etc. 


blue to gray, and including the rough homespun 
dress of the tanner. All had guns lying across their 
thighs at the pommels of their saddles. Some had 
sabres, whose steel scabbards gave forth a metallic 
rattle as they bounded from the flanks of the horses. 
Nearly all had revolvers strapped to their waists ; 
and a few carried enormous knives, not unlike rudely- 
constructed swords. 

At their head rode a man of vast stature and pro- 
digious breadth of shoulders. His black hair hung 
in long and tangled masses below the collar of his 
gray coat. He wore a slouch hat with an immense 
brim, which, turned up above his eyes, gave him a 
singularly wild, reckless appearance. His beard 
was of great luxuriance, and hung down till its ends 
mingled with the tossing mane of his liery horse. 
His left arm had been taken off between the elbow 
and the shoulder. With his right hand he managed 
the motion of his horse, and seemed to guide it rather 
by volition than the touch of the reins. 

I seemed to recognize " One-Armed Johnson," 
and his band of guerrillas. 

It required but a second to notice all these details. 
I had barely taken them in when the cavalcade 
emerged from a gorge formed by the narrowing of 
the valley. At this point, the road crossed the 
stream, and ran at right angles across the sloping 
valley up to the height upon which was situated the 
house of my friend Hermance. 

Plunging into the stream, the party sent the water 
flying in wild confusion, and then they cantered up 
the slope. I appeared to be standing at the exact 

246 Army and Othei' Sketches, 

point where the valley suddenly widened out from 
the gorge. The sloping ascent of the road, the 
farm-house, in unsuspicious security, the party of 
brigands, were all before me as if upon a map. I 
divined their purpose ; and I made the most frantic 
efforts to advance in the direction of the house. I 
could not move an inch. An invisible, but impene- 
trable, wall seemed to bar my progress ; and I dashed 
myself against it vainly, but with frenzied despera- 
tion. I essayed to call out ; but my voice seemed to 
reach only to my lips. 

All the time I saw the party of horsemen advanc- 
ing. When about half way up the slope they sud- 
denly, at a word of command from their leader, 
formed abreast, in two lines, on his right, facing 
toward the house. A moment after, some dozen or 
fifteen moved in advance of the rest. They deployed 
like a line of skirmishers ; and, while the centre 
moved forward slowly, the right and left flanks 
advanced rapidly, till the line resembled a long 
crescent. This line moved forward, and closed about 
the building, entirely surrounding it ; and, an instant 
after, the leader and the main body, at a swift gallop, 
dashed on the green in front of the house. 

There was a moment's parley ; and then a long 
puff' of white smoke, with a thin body of flame, 
poured from one of the windows, and, almost simul- 
taneously, a riderless horse detached itself from the 
struggling mass, and, with a snort of terror, galloped 
up the road, and, with swinging stirrups, disap- 
peared over the brow. 

What followed passed with the rapidity of light- 

A Dream, etc. 


ning. There were fierce flashes, puffs of smoke, the 
thud of bullets, and the sound of breaking glass. 
Then a blue smoke rolled up from the further side 
of the house, which soon became darker, and was 
mixed with great gushes of flame. I saw that the 
house was fired. The flames burst from a window, 
then ran in spirals under the eaves, and then crawled, 
like slender serpents, over the roof. A little later, 
and the roof was a volcano, which seemed to vomit 
flames, smoke, and cinders, which shot to an im- 
mense height, and then fell outward, as if the whole 
were a fountain bursting upward with irresistible 

Just before the flames enveloped the whole struct- 
ure, I saw a female figure rush wildly to an upper 
window, and then recoil as if appalled by the hell 
of flames which roared around and beneath her. It 
was my wife ! I saw her turn away with a wild, 
despairing look, and an imploring gesture ; and then 
the flame and smoke enshrouded the window, and I 
saw her no more. 

I made one more tremendous eflbrt to rush to her 
assistance. The invisible barrier seemed to give 
way before me, and I plunged madly forward ; but, 
at the very first bound, infinite depth suddenly 
yawned beneath me, and I felt myself foiling into 
space — down, down with terrible velocity, like a 
cannon-ball dropped from the clouds ; and then, as 
I seemed about to be crushed to fragments against 
the bottom of the abyss, a strong, yielding medium 
appeared to receive me, to break the force of my 
descent ; and then I awoke. 


Ai'iny a7id Other Sketches, 

Day was just dimly breaking. A few weak rays 
of grayish light entered my room, and gave to its 
contents a ghastly visibility. The horrors of my 
dream were fresh upon me ; and, impelled by an 
indefinable terror, I had but one thought — that of 
reaching T. Dressing myself, I hurried forth to the 
stable ; and, throwing a few ears of corn before my 
horse, I waited with feverish impatience through 
the age which was consumed by the animal in 
eating. I could not eat ; and I only waited till the 
corn had disappeared to take my departure. With- 
out disturbing any of the household, I led out my 
horse, threw myself in the saddle, and spurred sav- 
agely on my return. 

I devoured the space which separated me from T. 
with a fevered body and a soul constantly racked by 
the horrors of my dream. My mind's eye saw con- 
stantly the figure in the window, stretching appeal- 
ingly its white arms for aid. My imagination fol- 
lowed it within the shroud of fire and smoke, and 
saw it rushing hither and thither, and at length fall- 
ing, sufibcated by the pitiless flames. I saw con- 
stantly the shuddering, writhing form, and my ears 
rang with its shrieks of anguish. 

It was scarcely more than four hours — as I after- 
ward learned — from the time that I started, that I 
found myself entering the gorge at whose termina- 
tion was visible the residence of Hermance. I recog- 
nized the features of the stream, the banks, and the 
narrowing valley, exactly as they appeared in my 
dream the night before. In another moment I should 
have before me the blackened ruins of the farm- 

A Dream ^ etc. 


house, and my soul reeled as I anticipated the first 
view of the desolation, and the subsequent revela- 
tions of its horrors. The road was filled with hoof- 
marks, and the water still lay on the stones and sand 
where it had been splashed by the passing animals. 
The next instant, dashing across the stream, I 
rounded the abutment of the gorge, and, with a 
shudder of apprehension, turned my eyes to the rise 
beyond me. 

It was a beautiful September day. The air was 
pure as crystal, save where delicate forms of smoke 
drifted along or reclined upon the horizon. Beyond 
a peach orchard lay the brown farm-house, and 
around it clusters of negro cottages. From its chim- 
ney there curled, peacefully and lazily, a light-blue 
smoke. Some negro children and dogs gamboled 
among the trees. Quiet, peace, beauty, reigned over 
the scene. 

There were no smoking ruins — no desolation. 
The farm-house, with its patriarchal and sylvan sur- 
roundings, slept as peacefully under the autumn sun- 
light as if it had been located among the Isles of the 

It would be tedious to relate the surprise occa- 
sioned by my appearance ; my explanations, and the 
chagrin of my friend over the ruin of his blooded 
saddle-horse. I will merely state, in this connection, 
that there had been no alarm from any source since 
my departure. 

I have only to add that, two or three days later, 
among some captures made during a cavalry expedi- 
tion, was that of this same one-armed guerrilla and 


Army a7id Othei' Sketches. 

several of liis companions. He was brought to the 
city, and, inspired by curiosity, I resolved to see this 
terrible bandit. I readily obtained admission to a 
position where I could see him as he traversed the 
corridor of the prison. 

To my intense surprise, I found before me the 
fac simile of my dream. There were the same 
long, unkempt locks, falling over the collar of the 
gray coat ; the same enormous beard, stalwart form, 
broad shoulders, and arm missing between elbow 
and body. 

I entered into conversation with him ; and he was 
garrulous and boastful in relating what he had done, 
and wdiat he had designed doing. Among other 
things, he said : 

" I had a nice thing on hand a day or two before I 
was picked up. I had heard that there was a pay- 
master at T., and I intended to go for him. The 
night before I intended to take the town, I was in 
camp at R. In the morning, I found that a fellow 
in the Government sendee, who had just come from 
T., and who had staid all night at R., had left 
before daylight and gone back to T. I suppose he 
had found out some how that I was around, and 
what I meant, and had gone back to head me off. 
Any how, I thought I wouldn't go that time. 

"You are acquainted at T., are you.? Well, if 
you know a man there by the name of Hermance, 
just give him my compliments, and tell him, if I 
ever get out of this, I want some of his horses. He's 
got some 'of the best stock this side of h — 11. And 
tell him, too, that wdien I come after his horses, I'll 

A Dream ^ etc. 

just take his scalp, for I've heard that he's been 
playing double. I meant, when I went for the pay- 
master at T., to give Hermance a call ; but the thing 
will keep, and I'll drop in on him some other time." 


AKE her up ! " 
" I'm alone ! " 
" Pass ! " 

" Yes, ' Pass ; ' that's the word. Just 
pass that pocket ordnance, will you ? " 

I was the last speaker. My vis-a-vis on the car- 
seat laid down his 'lone hand — both bowers, queen, 
and seven-spot — reached into the breast-pocket of 
his overcoat, and hauled out a big-bellied pocket- 
pistol. Unscrewing the metal cap, I inhaled the 
delicious aroma of some S. O. P. After giving the 
sense of smell an opportunity, as it were, to take a 
drink, I applied one end of the flask to my mouth, 
and slowly elevated the other. 

A thin stream of the electric nectar had begun to 
crawl lazily throatward over my tongue ; the thrilling 
intelligence of a coming drink had just begun to be 
telegraphed from the nerves of the mouth to other 
portions of the system ; stomach, brain, extremities, 
were beginning to thrill with anticipated bliss over 

the expected libation — when 

I regret, even at this distant moment, to say that I 
never took that drink. 

Raising my eyes with somewhat of that instinctive 
thankfulness which animates a cliicken when it takes 

Getting a Drink under Difficulties. 253 

a sip of cooling water, I happened to glance out the 
car window. 

" Good heaven, Tom ! There's the old man 
Marsh ! " 

The S. O. P., that had begun to trip, like a nup- 
tial march, across my tongue, was suddenly inter- 
rupted. Down went flask, and, a second later, I 
was occupying a seat on the other side of the car, 
and was engaged in solemnly gazing out of the 
window upon the waste of snow that stretched away 
to the horizon. 

This promising drink was not taken, this change 
of seat was made, because I happened to see a port- 
ly old gentleman, with a double chin, a cane, a 
rheumatic limb on one sid6, and a not fashionable 
stove-pipe hat, working along toward the car in 
which we sat. 

This was the old man Marsh who had spoiled my 

Who was the old man Marsh ? 

Mr. John Marsh was a limiber-merchant who 
lived not a thousand miles from Chicago. He was 
well to do. He had a pinery in Wisconsin, rafts on 
the Mississippi in summer, and lumber-yards all over 
Iowa and Wisconsin, the year round. What was of 
more importance to me, he had a daughter. 

A young woman, with a fine form, a jDcacliy 
bloom on her cheeks, and eyes like black diamonds. 
I had met this young lady, and her motto, hence- 
forth, in my case, was : Veni^ vidi^ vici. 

Just then out of college, and embarked in a lite- 
rary career, I was somewhat given to look upon the 

254 Army and Other Sketches. 

wine when it was red, and the accomplishment of 
tasting it. It seemed to agree with me. 

Now, if Mr. John Marsh loved any thing next to 
his daughter and a good lumber season, it was the 
virtue of total abstinence. A young man who in- 
dulged in the flowing bowl was to him a good deal 
worse than a broken raft with no insurance, or any 
other unmitigated evil. 

I had just commenced publishing a daily news- 
paper in Davenport, Iowa. On the morning of that 
particular day there had come to me from Chicago 
a harum-scarum youth, to his intimates known as 
Tom Meeley. Tom was just from Cambridge, and 
was reading law with a Chicago Blackstone. Tom 
intermitted the study of law with practice at the bar. 
He was a heavy practitioner for a young one. 

Since then, he has gone into short-hand and extra 
mural gardening, and he doesn't do as much of the 
bar practice as he did. 

On tliat Christmas morning of December, 1856, 
Tom had induced me to take a run over to Iowa 
City. The Legislature was in session ; things were 
lively at the capital ; and fun was reasonably to be 

Taking along two flasks of liquid refreshments, 
two other young men to make up a euchre party, and 
a pack of cards, we took the morning train. 

At the very first station after leaving Davenport, 
had occurred what I have above alluded to. 

I was very thirsty. I had not wet my lips that 
morning ; and I was preparing for what my friend 
Mort. terms "an Enormous drink," when Mr. John 
Marsh passed across my line of vision. 

Getting a Drink under Difficulties. 255 

A minute or two later, the portly form of the old 
gentleman filled two-thirds of the seat which I oc- 

He was glad to see me. Had been to see about 
a lumber bill, at the place where he got on, and was 
going to Iowa City, to see about some more lumber 

I inquired respectfully about the health of his 
amiable self. Then about that of his respected wife. 
Then about the lumber business. Then about a 
religious revival in his town. Finally about the fair 
Harriet. The latter query elicited only a sententious 
reply — -'Oh! she's well." 

En passant^ there had come rumors to that good 
old man's ears that I was a trifle given to a habit 
which all Good Templars look upon with religious 
abhorrence. Therefore had he not been overwhelm- 
ingly enthusiastic in such slight advances as I had 
made in the direction of the gentle young Harriet. 

Therefore did he a trifle abridge his reply when, 
after inquiring after sixty-five other things, I ven- 
tured to inquire after a certain old man's daughter. 

Meanwhile, my late companions were luxuriously 
engaged. Tom, who knew my reasons for leaving 
the party, had imposed non-intercourse upon the 
others. They shuffled, cut, dealt, went it alone, told 
riproarious stories, and shamelessly took drinks the 

Especially did they aggravate me — wdio was so 
thirsty — by nodding at me when I looked, and when 
my companion w^asn't looking, then reversing their 
flask, and letting me hear the musical gushing of 

256 Army and Other Sketches, 

what was as much denied me as the cup to Tan- 

" Isn't it terrible that young men should act so? " 
said my venerable companion, indicating, with a 
jerk of his head, the party across the way. He 
looked searchingly into my face for my reply. 

" ' Terrible ! ' Oh, yes ! It is terrible ! My heart 
bleeds when I see young men thus wasting the 
golden opportunity of youth, and indulging in prac- 
tices which imist terminate in disaster, disgrace, and 
ruin ! " 

The face of Mr. John Marsh at once assumed a 
changed expression. He seemed suddenly to think 
more of me. We talked of how wicked are wicked 
men, and how good are good men. He even told 
me something about Harriet. 


We were all in the hotel at Iowa City. It was 
nearly bed-time. The old gentleman had taken a 
wonderful fancy to me, He had even insisted that 
we should occupy a double-bedded room. 

He had not left me a moment after the arrival of 
the train. I had introduced him to some of the 
State officials. He had invited me to a plate of 
oysters with him. 

He felt toward me like a father-in-law. 

Meanwhile I was thirsty to distraction. It was a 
nipping day ; and there came from the subterranean 
recesses of the hotel, an aroma of hot punch that was 
maddening as a fat becf-steak two inches beyond the 
nose of a chained bull-dog. With the aroma there 
ascended the sound of sons^ and laufjhter. 

Getting a Drink binder Difficulties. 

I was getting to be insane. I heard Tom's voice. 
I knew what was occurring. I felt the glow of the 
hot stove — inhaled the fragrance of the steaming 
punch ; I felt it thrill me like a shock of bliss — all 
in imagination. 

Mr. John Marsh never quitted me for a moment. 
We talked business, politics, morality, religion, and 
the benefits of a virtuous life. He requested me, 
just before bed-time, to wait while he wrote home a 

I afterward saw the postscript to that note. Here 
it is : 

"Tell Harriet I have met Mr. . I like him very 

much. The reports about his dissipation are false. He is 
one of the steadiest, most serious, and promising young 
men I know. I have no further objection to her receiving 
his attentions." 

Ten minutes later, this inflexible old man had 
hauled me ofl' to bed. I went as a hungry epicure 
would leave untasted a superb dinner to go fifteen 
miles through snow-drifts to visit a sick neighbor 
down with the measles. 

A lemon-y odor, and a roaring old chorus of 

" We won't go home till morning," 

were the last thing that came up as we entered our 
room and shut the door. 

It was maddening. I thought of rebelling. Then 
I thought of the peach-cheeked Harriet. And then 
I thought I wouldn't. I crawled into bed, wondering 
wdiat the d — 1 old Tantalus would think, providing 
he was placed where I was. 

258 Army and Other Sketches. 

Suddenly a bright idea struck me. I would have 
just one punch, anyhow. The old gentleman was 
in bed, and couldn't smell my breath. A plan ! A 
plan ! Eureka ! 

" Oh, Lord ! Oh ! Oh ! Oh ! " 

"What is it?" came in an alarmed tone from my 
companion's bed. 

" Oh, my ! Oh, dear ! such a pain ! Oh, oh ! 00 — 
00 — 00 ! " 

He offered to get up, and go for a doctor. He 
was confoundedly willing and most infernally sym- 

"No, my — oh! — dear sir. No — oh — oh! 
Don't disturb yourself Only — oh ! oh ! — a sudden 
spasm. All I need — oh ! is a little camphor or 
something I " 

I slid into my garments, and went off groaning 
like an overladen freight locomotive, promising to 
return in a few minutes. 

As the door closed on me, the spiced gales from 
below struck my sense of smell as the sight of water 
greets the sight of one who is dying from thirst. 
Following my nose as one might push in the teeth 
of a stiff breeze, I pursued the aroma till it brought 
me to the depths below. 

A warm smell of sawdust, the pervading fragrance 
of lemon and Scotch whisky, the sight of Tom and 
three others sitting about a table with steaming 
punch pitchers before them, were what greeted my 
nostrils and eyes as I entered the hall of the sym- 

There was a roar of delight at my appearance. 

Getting a Drink tinder Difficulties. 259 

" A punch, quick, boy ! ' 

Some two or three minutes were consumed in 
mixing. I whetted my senses with the steaming 
fragrance. I was overwhehned with questions. The 
boys sang, roared, questioned, drank. I answered 
as I could, and, between while, thundered at the 
bo}' : 

" Qiiick, for your life, and as strong as light- 
ning ! " 

It came — hot, aromatic, penetrating, promising. 
I poured it into a goblet 

"A toast! a toast!" roared the red-faced bac- 

" Up, then, to your feet," said I. " Fill to your 
brims. Here's to the sweetest young woman on the 
footstool, and to myself, her future husband, and to 
the oldest result thereof, whose name shall be " 

I stopped petrified. The sentence was never fin- 
ished. I was facing the entrance while speaking. 
The door opened slowly, and there entered 

Mr. John Marsh ! ! 

The countenance of that venerable old statue in 
the doorway will haunt me to the end of time. 

Sometime after this tremendous occurrence, I saw 
a letter written on the 26th of December, 1856, and 
dated at Iowa City. It had a P. S., which read as 
follows : 

"Tell Harriet I have since altered my mind about . 

I forbid her having any thing to do with him. He 
is a dissipated, shameless young man. I caught him in the 
very act of drinking, after having deceived me most abom- 


Af-my and Other Sketches, 

inably. And, to crown it all, he had the unblushing im- 
pudence to ask me to take a hot whisky to the health of his 
future father-in-law." 

This letter was signed, "Your Husband, J. 

I have only to add that, some time after, I did 
marry a woman with black-diamond eyes, a peachy 
complexion, and whose name is Harriet. 

How, and through what tremendous labors, this 
was accomplished, mattereth not. 


EN — that is, men who labor — are bows, 
and their purposes are their arrows. 
Bows which shoot often, necessarily are 
bent a good deal. It is a good plan to 
take off the string occasionally, and hang them up 
in the sun to regain elasticity. 

Sagittarius is a citizen who has been in the bow 
business for some time. He became much bent in 
consequence. His arrows went feebly, and dropped 
short of the mark. Sometimes they hit, but fell 
back harmlessly. Sagittarius was losing his spring- 
iness ; his string gave no metallic twang, but hung 
rather limp and loose. And so Sagittarius took off 
his string, and took himself into the country. 

The country is a good thing. It evolves the mys- 
teries of growth. In its elements of growth there 
are collateral elements of strength and recuperation. 
It has a surplussage of forces which are not needed 
in production, and which communicate themselves 
by contact, as the steel takes magnetism from the 
loadstone. These recuperative forces can not be 
bottled and transported. They must be smelled, and 
tasted, and felt at their places of origin. One can 
not bring sunlight into a closed room. He must go 

262 Army and Other Sketches. 

where the sunshine is. It will not come to him. It 
can not be carried in his carpet-sack, like a bottle of 
bitters. And so of all the other. forces. The j^er- 
fume will not leave its birth-jilace in the flower. 

Being a thrifty health-seeker, Sagittarius avoided 
Saratoga, the Beach, and the White Mountains. 
Seeking a point where there is a union of the mini- 
mum of men and the maximum of nature, he betook 
himself to Ramengo. There are a railroad, a post- 
office, a few churches, and a good deal of prairie at 
Ramengo. Around it are broad wheat-fields in 
brown stubble, and corn-fields green as an array of 
Fenians. Belts of timber straggle forward from or 
disappear in the distance. Little groves of scrub 
oaks dot the emerald prairie. There is a tinkle of 
cow-bells about the town ; and here and there may 
be seen masses of brown, and black and white, 
which closer inspection resolves into browsing cattle ; 
and the whitey-brown piles at intervals are known 
by the initiated to be sheep. 

Such are some of the surroundings of Ramengo, 
as they revealed themselves to Sagittarius when he 
alighted at the depot. There were some people 
around the depot. They are the same people that 
Sagittarius has seen all his life at every railroad 
depot. They seem detailed for depot service, and, 
by some singular means, they transport themselves 
from one depot to another, and always get to one 
just before the train. There is one short, thick-set 
man, who rushes up with a canvas mail-bag, which 
a man with a pencil behind his ear takes, into the car, 
and at the same time hands out another which is the 

A Moral Country-Place^ etc. 263 

twin brother of the other. There is a man with 
large boots, who puts an old hair-covered trunk on 
the train, and takes off another hair-covered trunk, 
which looks like an elderly cousin of the one just 
starting out. There are two young women, who 
chew the end of their parasols, and who always 
examine the train as if they expected their long- 
absent uncle. These two young women have dresses 
of rather loud colors. They gaze bashfully at the 
grimy faces in the car-windows ; and sometimes, 
when some one stares at them rather impudently, 
they turn aside and remark to each other confiden- 
tially something which sounds like " Te, he ! " 
There is the ex-veteran, or rather a sore-eyed ancient 
in a cavalry coat, which you suspect may have been 
a donation. There is an African who suns himself 
upon an adjacent fence ; and two young men with 
very large feet, and enormously long legs, and 
exceedingly round shoulders, who stare open- 
mouthed into the car-windows, and then proceed 
to "make game "of the tired-looking " city feller" 
that gets oft' from the train. There are a burly cart- 
man, with a sleepy horse, and a half-dozen boys, 
who, in all variety of costume, chase each other 
across the car-platforms, in and out the depot, or 
across the track in front of the engine. There is 
also the inevitable one-legged individual, and close 
by him two dogs, which inspect each other with tails 
stiff as ramrods, and many growls. 

This saw Sagittarius at Ramengo. A pretty, 
blue-eyed young woman revealed herself through 
the open door of the depot. Her fingers were busily 

264 Ar?ny and Other Sketches. 

clicking some notes on that collection of coils, and 
magnets, and acids known as " the instrument." 
Such fingers should hold converse only with the: 
strings of harps ; they were now sending an order 
for butter, or giving information as to the supply of 
eggs. It must be heavenly for a woman to be a tel- 
egraph operator, for then she will come in possession 
of so many secrets. And yet it must be torture for 
a woman to be a telegraph operator, for then she 
will know a thousand things which she can not tell 
to any other woman. 

Ramengo is an interior town, and resembles more 
or less several hundred other interior Western towns 
of the same size. There is one street, upon which 
are all the shops and places of business. There are 
some cross and side-streets, upon which live the 
inhabitants. In front of each store is a hitching- 
post, half gnawed in two by nibbling horses. Occa- 
sionally there is a wooden awning. The buildings 
are mainly of wood, one story in height, with a 
high, false front to make them look like several 

Ramengo prides itself upon being a most extraor- 
dinarily moral place. It sums its virtues in three 
propositions, to-wit : 

I. There are no billiard tables in the place. 

II. There are no whisky or beer saloons in the 

III. There is no Chicago Thies taken in the place. 
Such a high state of morality in so wicked an age 

greatly surprised Sagittarius. He marveled at the 
moral proficiency of the people. He debated within 

ji Moral Coimtry- Place ^ etc. 


himself whether or no the millennium had not 
arrived and settled at Ramengo. He saw almost as 
many churches in town as there were other houses. 
The countenances of the men wore a look of high 
devotion. The women appeared saint-like, as if 
they had made up their minds that this is a very 
wicked world outside of Ramengo. 

Ramengo is prolific in children. There are mul- 
titudes on the streets ; and the few doctors are hard- 
worked to attend to all the new arrivals. Every 
other man met by Sagittarius was in a tremendous 
hurry, and Sagittarius soon learned that he was 
going foi the family physician. In the contour of 
the married ladies on the streets, or elsewhere, the 
parabola abounded. 

The rising generation of Ramengo did not strike 
the observing Sagittarius as sharing fully the high 
moral superiority of their anti-billiard-table, anti- 
whisky-saloon, ?a\\!\- Chicago Times progenitors. 
These young people — those of the masculine sex — 
are given to much irreligious and unsaint-like con- 
duct. They are disposed to haunt the single street 
of Ramengo at all times, and in endless quantities. 
A young man promenading with a young woman 
affords the young Ramengoans an opportunity for 
much unseemly converse designed for the benefit of 
the promenading two. An innocent and verdant 
stranger from the wilds of Chicago or New York, 
finds himself the object of much hilarious and not 
altogether complimentary comment among these 
youthful observers. The young of the godly people 
of Ramengo are prone to blasphemy. They arc dis- 

266 Army and Other Sketches. 

posed to oaths whose length and frequency would 
excite the envy of a veteran jDirate. Sagittarius 
heard and saw all these things, and he reflected with 
pious joy that, whatever else these sons of pious 
sires were guilty of, they had not at least to answer 
for the greater sin of reading The Chicago Times. 

It is a pleasant thing to sit under the awning and 
watch the ebb and flow of country life. All day 
long teams come and go, as the farmers enter upon 
or depart from trading expeditions. The farmer's 
rig is about the same every where. There are a stout, 
substantial vehicle, and two sturdy horses. They 
always come around the corner, and up to the store- 
front, nt tremendous speed. If one walk a little out 
of town, he will see the horses coming in at the 
slowest of walks. Their heads droop, and the reins 
hang loosely. Suddenly, as the suburbs are entered, 
the reins are pulled taut, the drooping heads jerked 
high in the air ; there is a lash or two of the whip, 
and in an instant the whole concern is tearinsf throuo^h 
the streets like a crazy locomotive. Coming out the 
thing is reversed. Away goes a vehicle as if life or 
death depended upon short time and long distance. 
It disappears in a cloud of dust around the corner. 
If you walk leisurely after it, you will be in ample 
time, a half hour after, to see it crossing the prairie 
as unhurriedly as if drawn by a snail. 

Sometimes the old man drives, and sometimes the 
young man. The rest of the load is, however, inva- 
riable. There are always the feminine head of the 
family, a lady of about forty years ; a young woman 
of about seventeen, who jumps from the tall wagon 

A Moral Country- Place ^ etc, 267 

without assistance, and wears her back hair caught 
up in a net ; and a boy of about ten or twelve, who 
attends to the wagon and looks sulkily at the town 
boys. There is likewise a dog, which, if a young 
dog, starts out for a social chat with his city cousins, 
and very soon after comes back, having been badly 
threshed by a bull-dog, half-a-dozen curs, and a few 
terriers. If an old dog, he gets in the wagon, and 
growls ferociously at the slightest approach to famil- 
iarity on the part of town people. 

Close traders are these farmers and their wives. 
They bring in usually a pail of butter or a box of 
eggs, and long is the battle for the highest buying 
and lowest selling figure. The old lady looks at the 
cotton cloths and the jeans ; and the young lady 
prices the parasols, perfumery and back-combs. 
Sagittarius saw one sharp-eyed matron follow the 
clerk in his figuring up a bill of goods, and pour 
hogsheads of wrath upon his devoted head because 
he charged ten cents for a paper of pins, when Jones, 
over the way, would sell her the same pins for eight 

There was a grand excitement in Ramengo the 
day before the arrival of Sagittarius. A bold thief 
had broken into the single jeweler's shop in town, 
and had carried off tw^o silver watches. Daylight 
revealed the theft, and dire was the confusion 
throughout Ramengo. All the day long, men gath- 
ered in knots and discussed the event. The jeweler 
was the hero of the day. Wherever he moved, eager 
crowds surrounded him, and heard with open ears 
the recital of the dread event. Telegrams were sent 

268 Arjjty and Other Sketches. 

east and west, and towards night came the astound- 
ing intelhgence that the desperado had been cap- 
tured at a neighboring town. All the place vibrated 
to the intelligence, and by the next train the jeweler 
started to secure his property and the thief. 

Train after train came in from the east, and there 
came no jeweler, no thief, no booty. The crowds 
which attended each arrival of the train began to 
become uneasy. By-and-by, like the first rumors of 
a battle, there came whispers that the burglar had 
escaped. The appalling suggestion grew each hour 
more like a fact. Then it became a certainty ; and, 
after a while, the jeweler himself returned without 
the thief. He had seen the thief; he had gotten one 
of the watches and $50 ; but the murderous delin*- 
quent, entrusted to other hands, had mysteriously 

Startling and tremendous was this intelligence to 
Ramengo. Ramengo gathered in knots to talk the 
affair over. Men hallooed questions across the 
streets, or repeated some particular from their store 
doors to other men passing in wagons. Young 
Ramengo discussed the affair with a large seasoning 
of very pungent profiinity. Those who heard the 
particulars from the jeweler repeated them to others, 
and they to still others ; and so the news circled out- 
ward like waters receding from the buffet of a stone. 

Many were the theories as to the escape of the 
culprit. Some fiercely held to one opinion, and 
some to another. The favorite opinion was, that 
the burglar was a Freemason, and that he had 
escaped through the aid of the craft. This led to 

A Moral Country- Place ^ etc, 269 

hot discussions upon Morgan, and the enormity of a 
concern which shields murderers, burghirs, and 
horse-thieves from the clutches of the law. The 
Ramengoans have not traveled much. Most of them 
have traveled from New England westward. But 
few have ever traveled to the East. Hence, many 

Going to church on Sunday, in the country, is an 
institution. Early in the morning, two-horse wagons, 
loaded down to the guards, begin to enter town. 
These loads are not dissimilar. Three generations 
are usually represented. There is the old gentle- 
man, and sometimes his wife. His hair is gray and 
thin ; his form attenuated and bowed ; his fingers 
long, hooked, and skinny. Then there is the old 
man's son. He is broad-shouldered, sun-browned, 
and tough. Beside him is his wife. She, too, is 
brown ; and her half-mits reveal strong, thick fingers. 
There are also the oldest girl, and a smaller girl, and 
from two to five boys, with long, thick hair, brown 
faces, and a general appearance of being a good deal 
cramped in their Sunday clothes. The ancient looks 
absent-minded, somewhat as if intelligence were 
taking its insignia from his countenance, and leaving 
in place of them a wrinkled, expressionless piece of 
sole-leather. The younger ones look rather defiant, 
as if, in coming into town, they had gotten into a 
hostile country and did not propose to be victimized 
without a fight. The horses look sometimes as if 
they had tried to get through a small hole, and had 
only succeeded in pushing their viscera pretty wxll 
back, where they had remained. They are small at 

270 Army and Other Sketches. 

the neck, and grow constantly larger towards their 
tails. A young colt or two usually trots alongside, 
and appears sublimely unconscious of the future, 
with its horse-collars, its plows, reapers, and long 

The church itself is not quite a cathedral. Country 
teams are fastened to all the neighboring fences, and 
they have torn up the grass where they stamp the 
tormenting flies. There is a back gallery where the 
singers set, and in their midst is an asthmatic, but 
ambitious, little melodeon. There are always a 
pretty girl or two in the choir, and a rather romantic- 
looking young man who sings tenor. Somehow, 
ladies have a weakness for tenor-singers. The tenor 
knows it, and he affects melancholy and a thrilling 
tendency to early decay. 

Sagittarius attended one of the churches in 
Ramengo. He found the same audience collected 
there that he had seen when he was a boy and went 
to church. There was the same anxious mother, 
dividing her time between the sermon and a little boy 
who would get up and lie down, and who wanted 
cake, and who occasionally got on his knees and 
stared vigorously and persistently into the face of the 
young women behind. The same dog came up the 
aisle, looking into all the seats for its owner, and, 
by its puzzled expression, afforded cause for much 
suppressed chuckling to the small-sized boys. The 
same old gentleman sat on the same front seat, and 
stared with dropped jaw, and wiped his rheumy old 
eyes with the same old striped-silk pocket-handker- 
chief. The same farmer sat in the same seat, and 

A Model Country- Place ^ etc. 


slept all through the sermon, and woke up and 
looked around at the end, just as if he had only been 
thinking deeply with his eyes shut. The choir sang 
the same old tunes ; the preacher presented the same 
old doctrinal points ; and the same old crowd of 
rustic boors and dandies stood just outside the door, 
and stared into the fiices of the people as they went 

Ramengo has its romance. Some places have 
one thing, and some another ; but Ramengo has its 
crazy man. The crazy man lurks about the outskirts 
of the town, and sleeps in the cornfields. When the 
men go away from their houses, then the crazy man 
suddenly presents himself before the terrified women, 
and demands food. The crazy man is quite a young 
man ; and it is reported and believed among the 
younger women of Ramengo that it is a case of love. 
Once the crazy man loved a young woman. Ob- 
durate she, either from a prior attachment, cruel 
parents, or some other cause, frowned upon his 
passion. He pined ; then he wilted ; then he went 
crazy, and then he wandered away and came to 
Ramengo. Such is the feminine explanation of the 
enigma of the crazy man. It is a characteristic 
rendering of the mystery. 

The crazy man meanwhile looks as if craziness 
and lodging in cornfields do not agree with him. 
His hair and beard are matted, and his hat and coat 
in tatters. He is saving of his pantaloons, and 
usually carries them hung over his arm like a towel. 
The effect is peculiar — a good deal more peculiar, 
in fact, than modest. 

272 Army aiid Other Sketches, 

It would take too long to recount all that Sagit- 
tarius saw and did in Ramengo. He sat whole days 
in a store door, and stared at the milliners over the 
way, and at the boys who originated dog-fights in the 
street. One day he took his carpet-sack, put himselt 
upon the train, and came away. 


SAD history came to my notice, one day 
last week, when walking around Chicago. 
It involves the happiness of two young 
persons. It is the saddest of those sad 
occurrences in which the human heart is involved, 
and in which it is the principal actor as well as the 
grandest sufferer. 

There is a young gentleman of attractive appear- 
ance, excellent education, and fine financial pros- 
pects, who lives with his parents in a pleasant brick 
dwelling on the avenue. 

A year ago this young gentleman commenced 
paying his addresses to the youngest daughter of one 
of our most prosperous commission merchants, who 
is a resident of a princely dwelling on the avenue. 
The young lady is a superb blonde, with clustering 
curlsy a fetite form, and a lithe figure. She moves 
with that easy, undulating grace which is best 
described by the word "willowy" — that infinite 
flexibility whose motion is never angular, or dis- 
turbed, or interrupted. Her fingers possess that 
exquisite contour which is equally removed from 
emaciated slenderness and muscular plumpness. 

Charmingly developed in disposition, carefully 
cultivated in intellect, she unites, in body, soul, and 

2^4 Army and Other Sketches. 

heart, that pecuhar poise which is only found in 
characters that approximate closely to equable and 
perfect development. Just passed nineteen, at the 
time my narrative commences, she was at the precise 
age when the germs of youth had unfolded into fresh 
and fragrant blossoms. 

He possessed all her delicacy of soul with a vigor- 
ous, masculine organization, in which he presented 
that most perfect of manly characters — one in which 
the refinement peculiar to a woman is hardened and 
intensified in a man, until he becomes a power, a 
support, and yet characterized by infinite delicacy. 
An organization of the kind is one like wdiat a rose 
would be could it be hardened till it possessed the 
tenacity of steel, without losing any of its flexi- 
bility, fragrance, and delicacy. 

His person was tall and perfectly erect ; his 
shoulders broad, and the beginning of a pyramid 
which narrowed regularly to his heels. His eyes 
were a full, deep brown, and his hair heavy, and 
just a shade relieved from raven blackness. 

The course of true love did, at first, run smoothly. 
Of the proper age, of excellent prospects, of jDerfect 
health, they constituted a pair that seemed as ex- 
pressly created for each other as the bud and its 
supporting branch. Their affection was profound, 
without degenerating into maudlin sentimentality. 
Founded upon mutual respect, it bade fair never to 
become weakened by a familiarity which can only 
result in satiety, and, possibly, disgust. They seem- 
ed to be possessed of that rare faculty among lovers, 
that of keeping in exact equipoise an ardent love and 

Bicyailar Affection, 


a profound respect. It is rare, indeed, that one of 
these quahties does not give way to the other, m 
which case the result is the inevitable destruction of 

Three months ago, the acquaintanceship, which had 
long since ripened into affection, resulted in an en- 
gagement. The marriage was fixed for the first ot 
May. And then began, on the part of both, those 
preparations, so full of pleasure, for the coming 
sacrifice at the altar. 

It was two weeks before the glorious May-day 
upon which was to occur the consummation of these 
intermiuCTlino^ loves. 

About this period, he called one evening at the 
residence of his fiancee. When he arrived, he sat 
in the parlor until she should make her appearance. 
Upon this evening, he waited with a warm and yet 
controlled impatience for her coming. The few 
minutes that usually elapsed between his amval and 
her presence passed, and she came not. His antici- 
pations began to grow into anxiety, and then — she 

He started from his seat as the door opened, with 
eagerly outstretched arms, and lips fixed for the 
customary kiss. 

" My darling," he began, and then stopped sud- 
denly, frozen in speech and motion into rigidity. 

Instead of her usually springy step to meet him, 
she entered with a slow and measured walk. In 
place of glowing with expectancy, her face was 
characterized by a gloomy resolution. 

She stopped in front of him as he stood like a 

276 Army and Other Sketches. 

marble statue of disappointed expectancy. Her 
eyes, full of sadness and reproach, were turned 
sternly upon his face. 

And thus, for a moment or two, they stood con- 
fronting each other like two statues of Strength and 

Well, sir ! " at length came from her lips, in 
slow, cold, and measured tones. 

The words seemed an icy missile that pierced his 
heart. His form relaxed, the fine tension of his 
fose gave way, his strength seemed to have suddenly 
left him. 

" Well, sir ! " he repeated, mechanically. " Good 
heavens! she says ' Well, sir!'" continued he, as if 
communing with himself. He gazed at her feebly 
for a moment, and then staggered to and sank upon 
a sofa. 

She moved to an arm-chair, and seated herself in 
it with deliberation. She was now several feet from 
the sofa, and yet close enough to converse with ease. 

The young man struggled with the vast emotions 
that enveloped him. A little later, and he emerged 
from himself, and a reaction began to bring strength 
to his relaxed features and a steady light to his eye. 

"You said 'Well, sir,'" began he, with some 
firmness, "and, in reply, permit me to obsei-ve, 
Well, miss ! " 

She gazed at him unflinchingly and unmovingly. 
He continued. 

"It is strange language for me to use, but there 
seems nothing else that applies to this singular meet- 
ing. Perhaps you will save me from a further use 
of it by givino^ me an explanation?" 

Bicycular Affection, 


" Sir," said she, " I have no explanation to ofter." 

*"No explanation!' Am I mad? Is this all a 
dream? Do I meet you with every line of affection 
effaced from your face, with your mouth dropping 
icicles, and hear only that there is no explanation?" 

She gave no answer. He waited a moment, and 
resumed, with a slight accent of indignation : 

" You have no explanation, then, for this coldness? 
Perhaps none is due me. Perhaps I have no right. 
It may be that the belief on my part that you were 
soon to become my wife is a fancy, a dream ? " 

" It is," she said, simply. 

" Heavens ! Are you insane?" 

" Not in the least, sir." 

" Tell me, then, what all this means ! I will know , 
if I have to tear it from your false heart ! " and he 
rose to his feet and stood towering and maddened 
above her. 

She regarded him quietly. " No violence or 
heroics," she said, caml}^, " are of use, or will avail. 
If you have ever believed that an engagement ex- 
isted between yourself and me" — she did not say 
us — "you will regard it as a dream or a fiction." 

" Do you mean this ? " 

"I do." 

"And I can have no explanation?" 
" None from me." 

"Then go to" — he began, savagely; but the 
ruffianism of the moment died away as soon as it 
came, and he added, " Good evening ; " and without 
another word, he strode from the room. 

" One moment," she called. " Take these ; " and 
she put into his hands a weighty package. 

278 Army and Other Sketches. 

And then he passed into the street, and, a little 
later, he sat in his own room. Before him, on a 
table, lay the contents of the package she had given 

They were his presents ! 

With his elbow on the table, and both hands 
clutched savagely into his hair, and supporting his 
head, he gazed, with bloodshot eyes, upon the costly 
trinkets spread before him. 

There was a tiny ring of brilliants. It recalled a 
glorious moonlight night of warm September. A 
bracelet brought up one summer evening, when his 
soul was thrilled with her first kiss. 

And thus each article suggested some sunny scene, 
some exquisite enjoyment. He groaned as if his 
soul were struggling for an exit. 

Suddenly his eye caught a tiny envelope. He 
seized it. It was sealed, and without direction. He 
tore it open. A printed piece of paper, evidently 
cut from a newspaper, was w^ithin, and fastened to a 
sheet of note paper. Over it was written, in a well- 
known handwriting, the single word " Read." With 
a painfully-throbbing heart, he perused the following : 

"Competent medical authorities have decided that 
serious results are caused by riding the velocipede. Among 
these, not the least is the giving to Malthusian doctrines 
a practical and eminently undesired effect. 

And this was all. To-day, that young man 
saunters listlessly about the streets of Chicago, a 
broken-hearted being. Once a skillful velocipedist, 
he now shuns the rinks, as a freed sinner would a 
return to purgatory. Gone are his ambition, his 
hop'j, his love. 


|T the battle of Shiloh, one of the regi- 
ments that was well out to the front was 
the Eleventh Iowa. Its colonel was Wil- 
liam Hall. A lady was with him who 

was his wife. 

When Beauregard made his march on the Federals, 
on that morning, he omitted to send word of his 
coming. In consequence, his unexpected arrival 
produced some surprise, not to say confusion. Many 
of our people had not yet risen, and, like well-bred 
gentleman, they saw that their dcshahilld was unfitted 
for the reception of the Frenchman. Therefore, 
many of them hastily fled, to make their toilets. A 
good many did not make them in time to return on 
that day to the front. 

I will not say that Colonel Hall was quite as un- 
prepared as this. Nevertheless, pretty much the 
first intimation which the colonel and lady received 
of a confederate visit, was a twelve-pound shell that 
came crashing through their tent. And then the 
colonel hastily dressed himself, buckled on his sabre 
and went out. Mrs. Hall proceeded to finish her 
toilet. Meanwhile, shell and round shot tore through 
her canvass boudoir, as if to suggest a hasty depart- 
ure of its occupant. 


Arjny and Other Sketches. 

But she carefully arrayed herself all the same. 
Back hair and front hair were elaborately arranged as 
usual. Cuffs and collars were duly pinned. Then 
a few articles of dress were hunted for, and packed 
up. After which she went out, with her package, to 
the rear of the tent, saddled her pony, mounted it, 
and rode slowly to the rear. 

All this time the air above and around was riven with 
fierce-speeding missiles, and red with the flame of 
bursting shells. She moved calmly through the 
deafening and blasting tempest, till she reached the 
protecting banks of the Tennessee. 

That evening, her needle and thread came into use 
for purposes of repair. Her dress was cut in some 
twenty-nine different places by bullets and frag- 
ments of shell. 

At luka, Jvlrs. Hall once more ran the gauntlet of 
rebel bullets ; and again, although her dress was 
pierced in a score of places, she coolly moved un- 
harmed through the deadly storm. On the long 
march around Vicksburg, I again met her. She 
rode beneath the broiling sun, along the intermin- 
able bayous, as uncomplainingly as if on a visit to a 
neighbor. She was in the trenches at Vicksburg, 
and remained there until the strong city surrendered. 

The next spring, stricken down by a chronic 
disease, her husband went home to Davenport, Iowa, 
and she as faithfully accompanied him as she had 
during the long months that separated Shiloh from 

For months her husband was an invalid. After a 
while he grew better, and then some unexpected 

All About a Woman, 


turn of the disease occurred, and he died. The 
widow, after settHng up her estate, found herself 
possessed of one charming httle daughter, and no 
means whatever. With this capital she came, in 
1865, or 1866, to Chicago, and took up her residence 
with some relatives. Now commenced the real 
battle of life. 

Her papers, duly made out and sent to the pension 
office, were returned with the information that there 
was no proof in them that her husband died of a 
disease contracted in the army. She sent them to 
her legal agent, who consumed six months in finding 
out that he — did not know what to do. 

Meanwhile, the lady brought no end of pressure 
upon Gilmore, and, in time — say six months later 
— was rewarded by a subordinate position in the 
Chicago post-office. And then she gave her atten- 
tion to getting her pension. 

Her agent had given up the thing in disgust. He 
could not produce the proof required by the pension 
department. He so advised her, and told her that 
hope of government aid was useless. Under the 
circumstances, most women would have yielded the 
struggle. She resolved to fight the thing out. 

She occupied nearly a year in trying to find the 
address of the division surgeon. Letters were sent 
every where. Some of them, in time, came back 
from the dead-letter office. Others gave her assur- 
ances that the surgeon was dead, or in New Mexico, 
in California, or that it was not known where he was. 
Still, she followed up the trail, but was ever baffled. 
Time and again did she travel from Chicago to 

282 Ari7iy and Other Sketches. 

various portions of the east and west, in the hope 
that some army surgeon could give her the required 
proof. She took statements which were sent on to 
Washington with new papers, but always the inex- 
orable official returned them with the indorsement 
that there was not sufficient proof that the cause of 
the death was acquired in the army. 

During the intervals of hunting up testimony, she 
opened up a correspondence with Iowa congressmen, 
asking for a special act in her favor. This was in 
1867. Plastic congressmen answered her that the 
thing could be done, and should be done. 

As is customary, they promised and — did nothing, 
She waited a year on these promises, and then went 
to Washington. She got Grant's indorsement of her 
petition for a special act. Sherman signed it, and so 
did many another dignitary of the army of Tennes- 
see. Leaving them in the hands of Congressman 
Price, she returned to Chicago. 

The petition went before the committee, and was 
defeated. She was so advised, and was told that 
nothing more could be done. Here was another 
excellent point to give up at. But she didn't. She 
continued the fight. 

Once more she commenced corresponding with 
and visiting different places. She got up another 
series of affidavits and papers — the fiftieth, possibly, 
in all — and sent them on to Congress, asking a 
special act. 

In this way she fought on until March, 1869. 
An this time, the health of some member of the 
family gave way, and she accompanied him to some 

All About a Woman, 283 

country place near Rock Island. Just before leaving 
Chicago, she was notified that her bill had passed 
through the committee. This was cheering. The 
next letter informed her that it had passed the house, 
and concluded with the information that, as it was 
so near the end of the session, it would not be 
reached by the senate, and that is was very doubtful, 
it case it could reach that body, that it would pass. 

And so ended her hopes. She went into the 
country, wearied with her arduous struggle, but not 
dismayed or defeated. During the intervals of wait- 
ing upon her father, she planned a new campaign, 
and sought for fresh evidence. 

Thirty days passed without her hearing from 
any one. Then there came along a neighbor who 
brought a letter which he had accidentally seen ad- 
vertised in the Rock Island post-office. It was post- 
marked at Washington, and read, in substance : 
"Your bill was reached by the senate, and was 
passed at almost the last moment. It has been duly 
signed by the president," etc. 

In the language of her sex, the strong woman sat 
down and " had a good cry." A day or two later 
she got a draft for some sixty months' back pension, 
at the rate of $30 per month. 

If this sketch proves any thing, it is that Provi- 
dence helps those who help themselves, even if they 
are women. 


OME years ago, I found myself a tempo- 
rary resident of one of those bluff-cities 
lying some where on the Mississippi 
between its source and the gulf. I had 
just left college, and, with a sheepskin in my pocket, 
certifying that I was duly exalted to the dignity of a 
B. A., I started to the great west in search of what 
I lacked most, viz. : f^ime and fortune. 

It was at the time that the western fever was epi- 
demic all over the eastern states. In every home in 
the seaboard and middle states, somebody was 
stricken with the malady. Generally the victim was 
the scapegrace of the family. He was the restless, 
uneasy member, to whom a future which promised 
only the dull routine of the past was a matter of 
supreme disgust. 

As a logical result, the men who came west were 
usually young, ambitious and daring. Timid souls 
stayed at home. Only those who had the strength to 
burst the shackles of fogyism, could escape the weary 
imprisonment, which habit and custom had imposed 
upon the residents of the older states. 

It was some twelve years ago from the time I 
write that I found myself west of the Mississippi. 
The city where I first stopped on my journey was 
supposed to be a sort of Gaditamnii J^retum^ at 

A Ride to Death 


which was the narrow strait which connected the 
known with the unknown world. Passing through 
it, one was supposed to embark on an ocean, in any 
part of which he might discover fairy islands with- 
out number. 

The place was full of adventurers who had not yet 
embarked. Either the winds were not fair, or there 
was nothing about to sail, or they had no money to 
pay the passage, or something. At any rate, in a 
week after I had reached the town I found myself in 
company with several hundred young men, mainly 
engaged in nothing in particular. Every body was 
running around frantically ; every body was fevered 
and restless, and full of schemes and anticipation ; 
but the great number of the new-comers was not 
doing any thing else. In such a case, when hope is 
large and realization scanty, men very easily fall into 
the habit of drinking. 

When one is possessed with a grand vision, and 
fails to see it become a reality, there is nothing that 
will so effectually prevent the fading of this vision as 
generous wine. It brings out colors which are 
passing away ; it restores fancies which are about to 
elude the grasp. 

Many of us, who had reared magnificient air- 
castles, saw them gradually becoming effaced. 
Dipping our brushes in the golden depths of the 
wine-pot, we could repaint, re-decorate, restore these 
vanishing creations. To be sure, the restoration was 
not lasting ; each day the process required repetition, 
and each time the labor was a greater one. 

I succeeded in getting a room after some difficulty ; 

286 Ar?ny and Other Skcichcs. 

and then I had to share one ah'cady occupied by two 
young men about my own age. Both, Hke myself, 
had left the East to seek their fortune in the roseate 
West. They were named respectively Howe and 
Brattles. Howe was from some where in New 
England, and Brattles from New York. 

We soon found that we stood upon common 
ground. Howe and Brattles had been some months 
waiting for something to turn up. Nothing had 
turned up, except that the bills of the landlord came 
with regularity ; and the diet, discomfort, and crowd 
each day turned up a little worse, if possible, than 
they had on the day before. My two companions 
mainly occupied themselves in " letting" themselves 
"down " from an old drunk, or clambering vigorously 
into a new one. I found them intelligent, jovial and 
communicative. In a week, I shared all their hopes 
and disappointments ; and applied myself as vigor- 
ously as they to hunting comfort in an inverted tum- 

Howe was a singular sort of a character. He was 
tall, straight, with a swarthy complexion, and 
straight, black hair ; and he possessed other points 
which made him look not unlike one of Indian des- 
cent. He may have had some aboriginal blood in 
his veins ; but of this I never knew. He was very 
reticent about his family, and never alluded to any 
of his relatives, save to sometimes intimate, in a 
vague way, something about having left home on 
account of trouble with his father. He had bursts 
of loquacity in his reticence ; but generally he con- 
versed but little. When intoxicated, or partially so, 

A Ride to Death, 


his whole nature changed. It was on such occasions 
that I suspected his possessing an Indian origin. 
Then his black eyes would blaze, and he would 
become as restless as a wild beast. At a certain 
point he w^ould become utterly reckless, and was 
ready for any act, regardless of its character or 

Of Brattle's iDeculiarities it is not necessary to 
speak, further than to say that he was somewhat 
careless and thoughtless, easily influenced, and ready 
at all times, without reflection, to follow in any 
movement in which some body else would take the 
lead. In many respects, the same was true of my- 
self. I was rather indolent, and very glad to avail 
myself of the ingenuity of others in the securing of 
w'ays and means for amusement, and for passing the 
time, which hung rather heavily upon our hands. I 
mention these peculiarities of my two companions 
and myself for reasons which will make themselves 
apparent in time. 

It w^as in the latter part of September that oc- 
curred the incident wdiich I am about to relate. 
Howe was the first out of bed one morning, and, 
going to the window, he threw open the blinds and 
looked out. A gleam of sunshine lighted the room, 
and the fresh morning air rushed in laden with in- 

" I say, fellows," said Howe, after taking in the 
prospect for a few moments, " let's go into the 
country. It's a glorious morning ; and I am getting 
tired of this infernal city." 

" I'm in," said Brattles. 

288 Army and Other Sketches. 

"And I," said the remaining member of the trio. 

" But where shall we go? " inquired Howe. 

" Oh, any where," responded I ; let us dine some 
where where there are no corner-lot speculators, no 
invitations to a game of seven-up." 

" That's it," chimed in Brattles ; " we want to get 
where we can cool the fever in our blood. Let us 
get out where we can breathe and bathe in air that 
has not been made red-hot by the curses of ruined 

And much more to the same purport — the result 
of which was that we swallowed a hasty breakfast, 
and then went in a body to an adjacent livery stable. 

I had frequently engaged horses at this same 
stable ; and, having always brought every thing back 
in good order, the proprietor was willing to trust 
me with his better class of animals. In response to 
our request for a "rig," "Mack" informed us that 
he had nothing available except a certain animal 
which he did not like to let, as he was inclined to 
run away unless closely watched. 

We promised due diligence, and, after some hesi- 
tation, "Mack" consented. On account of the 
character of the horse, and because we were going 
in the country, the vehicle selected for us was a 
stout, square affair, somewhat like the ordinary ex- 
press wagon. The horse was speedily harnessed, 
and was driven out. He was a large, powerful 
beast, jet black, and with a vicious ej^e, that blazed 
like a live coal. When he was driven out by the 
assistant, he came with a series of ugly lunges, and 
two or three shakes of the head that were full of 
mischievous promise. 

A Ride to Death. 


" You want to watch that critter right close," said 
" Mack," as we clambered in, and the boy held the 
horse by the head with no small difficulty. " He's 
uglier nor h — 11," continued "Mack," as I gathered 
up the reins, " and, if you ain't watchin' him, he'll 
string you stireT 

" All right," said I, " let him go, boy ; " and away 
we went over the cobble-stones of one of the main 
streets, at a speed which, had we known any thing 
of Dexter, would have reminded us of that renowned 

Howe said he had fort^rotten somethino: at the 
hotel, and insisted that I should drive there for a 
moment. I consented finally,* and managed, not to 
stop, but to lay " oft' and on," in front of the build- 
ing during Howe's absence. He returned in a few 
minutes with a box of cigars and something wrap- 
ped up in a paper, and whose outlines were not 
unlike those of a large bottle. He clambered into 
the wagon with a good deal of difficulty, and, a 
moment after, we were bowling along a straight 
street that led direct into the country. 

As I stated in the beginning of this narration, the 
town at which I was located is built upon the blufl^s 
of the Mississippi. That is, a portion of the town 
is on the blufts ; but the business portion, and, in 
fact, the greater part of the place, lies on the bottom 
between the foot of the blufts and the river. The 
blufts are very lofty, rising at some points from 300 
to 400 feet above the banks of the river. The action 
of water, exerted for centuries, has cut deep ravines 
down these heights, along which the inhabitants 

290 Army and Other Sketches. 

have cut streets. Without these ravines, nothing 
less than a ladder would serve one in getting from 
the bottom to the heights of the bluffs. 

Some of these ravine roads were finished, and 
others were not. The main route to the country 
was along "Julian avenue," as it was called, — the 
broadest, least crooked and most finished of the roads 
leading up the bluffs. The ravine up which it ran 
had been blasted and wrought upon, until there 
resulted a wide street, straight as an arrow, and 
which rose from the "bottom" to the high country 
lying back by a gradient of about thirty-five degrees. 
Its surface was solid rock, and it was smooth as a 
floor, save that here* and there were little bits of 
rocks which had fallen from the walls of the street, 
or had been washed into various positions by the 
water which, after heavy rains, poured into the 
avenue from lateral ravines. 

In some places, high, smooth walls of rock, bear- 
ing the mark of the drill, rise on both sides of the 
street. In other places, the adjacent sides recede in 
slojDing amphitheatres, in which are residences. At 
intervals, where the bluffs abut squarely on the 
streets, huge fragments of rocks have become de- 
tached from these revete77ie7tts ; and they lie, here 
singl}', there in vast, misshapen piles which thrust 
themselves well towards the centre of the thorough- 
fare, and necessitate vehicles to make a slight detour 
in passing them. 

It was up this avenue that we directed our course, 
and up which our horse, despite the ascent and the 
heavy wagon, proceeded at a swift trot, which only 

A Ride to Death, 


a tight rein prevented from becoming a gallop. 
From the point where the avenue begins at the 
" bottom," to the point where it issues upon the 
highland beyond, is just about a mile. The place 
where the ascent ends and the level road begins, is 
as sharply defined as the ridge of a house. Going 
into the city, one walks from the level road and com- 
mences the descent at one step, as if he were to step 
suddenly from a flat to a descending roof. 

Notwithstanding the speed at which we ascended, 
I noticed, in passing, several little groups and events. 
At one brick house, a woman with a broom stood at 
one of the windows. She had on a dark calico 
dress, and one of her blonde locks had escaped and 
hung down over her left shoulder. In a yard, several 
children were playing, — one of whom, a boy, was 
carrying a little girl pick-a-back. A cur with im- 
mense splay feet chased a spaniel with long ears, 
among the shrubber}^ At another place were two 
cows, one of which was grazing, and the other, 
attracted by the noise of our vehicle, raised her 
head and stared at us with wondering eyes. 

We emerged into the open country ; and, after 
proceeding a couple of miles, my arms became tired 
holding the vicious beast which hauled us. Howe 
proposed to turn oft' in a little grove by the roadside, 
and tie the animal to a tree. We did so ; and, a 
little later, the horse was securely ftistened, and we 
w^ere sunning ourselves in a grassy opening that pre- 
sented itself near the outskirts of the grove. 

It is foreign to my purpose to relate the conversa- 
tion and minutiae of our stay. Suffice it, that our 

292 Army a?td Other Sketches. 

conversation took a wide range, and that it was 
punctuated by frequent applications of the bottle 
which had been secured by Howe. We retailed old 
jokes, invented new ones, sang and became hilarious. 
In the course of about three hours the bottle was 
empty, and all of us had passed into that condition 
in which recklessness was in the ascendency. A 
return to town, and " to make a night of it," were 
proposed and carried unanimously. 

We unhitched the horse, and, getting in with 
much trouble, we started homewards. Howe insist- 
ed on driving, and I consented. Annoyed by the 
flies, which had been tormenting him all day, and 
knowing himself to be going towards home, the 
horse was more headstrong than usual, and tore 
along at a pace which only the efforts of two of us 
at the reins could prevent from setting into a run. 
We all three sat upon the seat, Howe in the middle. 

I noticed that Howe was more intoxicated than 
either Brattles or myself His cheeks were flushed, 
and his black eyes shone with a fierce, unnatural 
fire. His jaws were set, and his breathing was 
short and accompanied with a noise like that of 
snoring. The excitement of the drive had deepened, 
instead of lessened, his intoxication. 

" Stead}^, old fellow," said I, as, emerging from a 
strip of " timber," we found ourselves only a few 
rods from where began the descent of Julian avenue. 
" Steady, now ! We are getting into town." 

"All right," said he, and with a powerful eflbrt he 
reined the horse into a walk. The animal shook his 
head madly and tugged fiercely at the bit. A mo- 

A Ride to Death. 


ment after we reached the descent, and the long 
declivity of the avenue came into view. At the very 
instant that we gained the point where the avenue 
"breaks" down from the level and commences to 
descend, the horse gave a wild plunge. The next 
instant, Howe rose suddenly to his feet. With his 
left hand he threw the lines over the horse's head, 
and with his right he brought down the heavy whip 
with tremendous force upon the animal's back, ex- 
claiming, with a voice that rose almost to a shriek : 

" You want to go ! Then go ! G — d d — n you !" 

I had just sufficient time to see the brute leap with 
a maddened bound into what seemed space, when I 
found myself thrown over the seat into the box behind 
with stunning violence. Brattles fell beside me, and 
Howe came heavily, and with an unfinished yell on 
his lips, upon both of us. 

What followed was like a dream, whose images 
stand out prominent, but which lacks continuity. I 
remember falling, but I do not remember how I 
recovered myself. After the fall, the next thing 
which I recollect is, that I was sitting upon the bot- 
tom of the wagon, holding to the railing ; that Brat- 
tles had disappeared ; and that Howe was partly on 
one knee, just before me, clinging to the edge of the 
box, bare-headed, rocking furiously, and giving utter- 
ance to maniacal yells of exultation. 

The stroke of the whip, the blasphemous impre- 
cation of Howe, the bound of the horse, the fall, 
the recovery, — all seem to have occurred instanta- 
neously. Time seems to have been obliterated. I 

294 Arfny and Other Sketches, 

recollect these events, and they all appear as if they 
took place at the same time. 

After the lapse of the moment of unconsciousness 
that must have occurred immediately at the time I 
was thrown backward, and the instant that I par- 
tially sat upright, I seemed at once endowed with a 
sort of tripartite consciousness. Three distinct sets 
of thoughts seemed to possess me, each of which 
apparently pursued an independent process. These 
three processes seemed respectively to take in simul- 
taneously the past, present and future. 

In the present, I saw exactly and comprehended 
our situation. I saw the black devil in front, with 
flying mane, plunging madly down the avenue. I 
saw Howe distinctly, and was conscious of his exact 
expression. I felt the wagon, not running appar- 
ently on the ground, but only touching it at intervals, 
and then springing forward as if it were progressing 
by great leaps. A black wall was on either side of 
me, which seemed composed of long, horizontal 
layers of darkness, that were rushing backward with 
the speed of lightning ; but even in this, as in a pool 
of ink, I saw houses and fences, and recognized the 
outlines of jutting rocks. 

Such are the outlines of what may be called the 
-present of the three processes which possessed me. 
It was clear and distinct, but none the less so than 
the second process, and which related to the future. 
This portion of the triune existence thus suddenly 
thrust upon me related chiefly to what might hap- 
pen. I saw, as if clairvoyantly, what lay before us. 
I could see that we would reach a pile of rock ; that 

A Ride to DeatJi. 

the wheel would pass over it, and we be dashed 
from the overturned wagon against the wall below. 

All this time the third process seemed in opera- 
tion. This busily wove into a ragged woof, events 
of the past. They were not the more important 
occurrences of my life that were thus, as it were, 
knotted together. This third faculty may be better 
compared to a species of divergent light, like that 
shot from the great lamp of a locomotive. Some 
such species of illumination appeared to be thrown 
into the past. In the midst of the vista which it 
clove in the darkness, I could discover events in my 
life as if they had been paintings or statuary flashed 
upon by a light. 

As I have said, I neither saw the grander occur- 
rences of my life, nor was there any regular pro- 
gress, like a review. The divergent light flashed 
upon something away back in my childhood, and 
immediately after upon something which occurred 
that morning. Thus, I saw myself walking with a 
younger brother. He could just barely walk, and I 
saw myself holding his hand, and recognized that 
he wore a frock, and a hood which was fastened to 
his head with a silk handkerchief that was knotted 
under his chin. I saw this picture as through a 
lighted tube, in a dense wall of darkness that seemed 
the past. The very next thing that the light revealed 
to me was the woman w^th the broom, and the dark 
dress, and the straggling lock of hair, whom I had 
noticed that morning at the window. There was no 
method in its revelations. One moment, it threw its 
long rays across a play-ground and a group of 

296 Army and Other Sketches, 

school-boys, of whom I was one ; and the next, 
there were visible through the darkness the boy car- ^ 
rying his little sister pick-a-back, and the splay- 
footed cur chasing its long-eared companion among 
the trees. 

It appeared to me that I knew I would be killed. 
Death was present ; and, although without form, it 
was as if I could feel it in a sort of shadowy some- 
thing that seemed to be gradually gathering about, 
and constricting the motion of my heart. Despite 
this, I was not alarmed at the apparent certainty of 
death. I had no particular recollection of the good 
or evil of my life. There was rather a triviality that 
attended this certainty of death. I wondered what 
the woman in the window would think could she see 
us ; and whether the little boy would not drop his 
sister in pitying horror could he appreciate our situ- 
ation. I seemed to strive to guess what my mother 
would say when she heard the news ; and perhaps 
the same attempt occurred with reference to a dozen 
other people. But all this time I realized nothing — 
I never even thought — of futurity. Heaven or hell 
came no more to my mind than if I had never heard 
of their existence. 

One sensation that I recall was, that I seemed 
gradually being swallowed up in darkness. It was 
not a thick darkness ; but rather I seemed enveloped 
by a medium which was possessed of fluidity and 
transparency, but which was gradually growing 
darker. I could appreciate that this medium would 
eventually become black, and this seemed the meas- 
ure of my life. My thoughts and existence would 

A Ride to Death, 

accompany its changes ; and, when the full black 
was readied, my life would be gone. This ultimate 
and approaching blackness seemed pure non-exist- 
ence, into which I should finally be merged. 

The portion of the trinity which possessed me, 
and which related to the present^ was, as I have 
already intimated, of surprising clearness. It seemed 
a sort of independent consciousness, which occupied 
itself with immediate surroundings and circum- 
stances. It revealed the horse, perfectly outlined, 
and appearing like a mass of black launched in 
space. I saw distinctly the large, loose sleeves of 
Howe's coat, and his hair fluttering in the wind with 
the rapidity of lightning. I saw the long perspective 
of the avenue, with its ascending and descending 
vehicles and pedestrians. In the background lay 
the Mississippi ; and I caught the reflection of a 
fleecy cloud in its depths ; and, just coming around 
a point above, I saw a steam-boat, and read without 
difficulty the name upon its wheel-house. I even 
noticed a little group of passengers upon the hurri- 
cane deck ; and I observed that a furnace door was 
open, and that a fireman was pushing something in 
the red, cavernous depths. 

Exactly opposite, on the sidewalk, was a woman 
holding a little girl by the hand. The latter tugged 
at the hand of the other, as if urging her forward ; 
the mother, with an expression of horror upon her 
face, stood like a frozen statue. Just below, was a 
farmer driving an empty hay-wagon. He had risen 
to his feet, and was lashing his horses to get them 
out of our way. I even noticed that his horses were 


Ar7ny and Other Sketches, 

ordinary farm-horses, and that one of them, catching 
sight of us, had arched its neck and thrown forward 
its ears with an appearance of affright. I could see 
pedestrians all along the street. Some of those 
nearest us had caught sight of us, and had stopped ; 
but nearly all were ascending or descending, as if 
unconscious of the imminence of any thing uncom- 

The wagon seemed possessed of volition and inde- 
pendent motion. It leaped, bounded, rather than 
rolled. It seemed to vault into space. When it 
descended, a sensation possessed me exactly as if I 
had suddenly been deprived of gravity. It seemed 
as if a spider-thread would have held me suspended 
in the air at the moment when the vehicle com- 
menced to descend. I felt as if the placing of my 
open hands on the air would buoy me up, and allow 
the descending vehicle to pass from under me. It 
was, I fancy, a feeling akin to the sensation expe- 
rienced by a sea-sick person at the moment when 
the vessel drops from a great height into the trough 
of the waves. 

I have spoken of a sort of atmosphere which 
enveloped me, and which seemed to grow gradually 
darker. It would be more correct to say that I felt 
as if I was in the centre of an immense sphere, 
which, near me, was a sort of twilight, but whose 
exterior was utter darkness. This exterior seemed 
rushing to the common centre formed by me. As I 
have said, I felt that, when this darkness reached 
me, I should be dead. The motion inward of the 

A Ride to Death, 

circumference of the sphere was felt by me some- 
what in the form of an apprehension. 

Suddenly, and with inconceivable velocity, the 
coming darkness dashed, as it were, ujDon me, and 
enshrouded me. I remember no more. My last 
remembrance is, that the thick shadows seemed 
interspersed with a million auroral colors and cor- 
ruscations ; and that there shivered through me with 
infinite rapidity the conviction. This is death ! 

It was days before I returned to consciousness, 
weeks before my recovery was deemed probable, 
and months before I was able to hobble from my 

Brattles had partly fallen and partly thrown him- 
self from the wagon when Howe struck the horse ; 
and he escaped with a few severe contusions. About 
two-thirds of the way down the avenue, exactly 
where a pile of fallen rocks rendered a slight detour 
necessary, the wheel of the wagon on one side struck 
the debris; and the next second the vehicle, as if 
shot from a gun, was dashed against the face of the 
opposite wall. A shapeless, bloody mass of flesh 
remained, and the horse, with some remnants of the 
wagon, continued his flight. 

A strange fact remains to be related with reference 
to myself. It is, that I was thrown from the vehicle 
within two seco7ids from the time that Howe's whip 
fell upon the body of the maddened horse. Accord- 
ing to the testimony of the woman with the little 
girl, at the second or third bound of the wagon it 
alighted upon its side wheels, and tipped sufficiently 
to throw me out, but righted again, owing to a 

300 Army and Other Sketches. 

change of position by Howe. The point where I 
was picked up was about sixty feet farther down the 
hill than where Brattles was found ; and the differ- 
ence in our positions demonstrates that, at the prob- 
able rate of the speed of the horse, I was thrown 
out within 07ze second after Brattles. 

It was during this single second that occurred all 
that I have related with reference to my thoughts 
and observations. Not only that which I have 
detailed took place, but there were a thousand other 
things — shadows of thoughts, glimpses of material 
objects, attenuated memories — which passed through 
my mind like a swift but disconnected panorama. 

Reflection induces the conclusion that I did not 
really possess at the moment three independent ope- 
rations of the mental faculties. Of course, such a 
thing is impossible. The probable explanation is, 
that the U7tits^ in each of these processes, while in 
reality separate, presented themselves with such 
enormous rapidity that they seemed a united whole, 
like the swiftly-revolving spokes of a wheel. 


N its recognition of notable women, the 
world is often led to base its judgment, 
and to confer fame, rather upon the showy 
than the truly substantial qualities. It is 
a melancholy truth that Aspasia, Ninon de TEnclos, 
and Catherine de Medici stand out more prominent- 
ly in this world's recollection than many another 
woman whose life has been characterized by virtues 
as the careers of those noted women were by their 

Valliere and the Countess of Blessington are in a 
fair way to attain immortality. Possibly they will 
live long after Florence Nightingale and other quiet 
heroines have been forgotten. I confess to a hearty 
dislike of these results ; and, so far as I can, I will 
afford compensation to a neglected heroism. If I 
can not confer the immortality which has been at- 
tained by a bad woman like Madame de Maintenon, 
I can, at least, rescue temporarily from oblivion one 
woman, whose case impressed me more than any 
similar thing in my experience. 

In attempting this work, I hope for success with- 
out wounding the delicacy of her who is the subject 
of the task, or of those by whom she is surrounded. 

302 Army and Other Sketches. 

Not long since, while in search of health and 
recreation, I spent some weeks in Essex, Vermont, 
which lies among the rugged hills that terminate the 
western slope of the Green mountains. It is a 
sterile, and yet hospitable region. There is some- 
thing massive and enduring in the character of 
the residents, which has been borrowed from the 
everlasting rocks and mountains. 

Among these people, each day I became infused 
with an increasing vigor, which seemed to be com- 
municated by contact with the rocky surface, as one 
takes electricity from a battery. 

During my wanderings, I heard much of an invalid 
whose sufferings and patience were themes which, 
from long use, had almost grown into traditions. 
Confined to her room by an incurable and frightful 
malady, she was loved, honored, pitied, by all who 
spoke of her ; and I was assured that not to visit her 
w^ould be to dej^rive myself of a rare felicity. 

I plead that, being a stranger, my presence could 
but be regarded as an intrusion. In truth, my real 
reason was, that I did not wish to shock the pro- 
gress of my returning health with what I conceived 
would be the distressing vision of a sick room, with 
its array of medical paraphernalia, and its emaciated 

Yielding finally to solicitations which became 
pressing, I consented to make the required visit. 

For a distance of several miles, our conveyance 
threaded the narrow ravines, and climbed and de- 
scended the precipitous hills, along which twists 
the road that leads to the town of Westford. Away 

The Most Beautiful Woman^ etc, 303 

to the right against the sky, was traced the wavering 
hne that marked the ridges of the Green Mountains. 
Between these peaks and our road, there descended 
a cataractdike mass of rock and woodland, over all 
of which there rested a semi-diaphanous mist of 
softest blue. Along our left, ran a chain of massive 
hills — rent, here and there, into fissures whose 
depths grew dim and shadowy ; and clad to the 
summit with stunted vegetation — among which, 
now and then, there appeared the gorgeous tints of 

Climbing a hill, the road passed across a narrow 
valley. On the one side, low ledges of rocks walled 
the road ; on the other, there was a semi-circular 
clearing, upon which stood a plain white farm- 
building, with its outhouses and a garden. A few 
sheep, with corrugated fleeces, were clustered in the 
shadow of the roadside-fence ; and some cows dot- 
ted the further side of the opening, where it sloped 
up the hills. 

Here resided Farmer Lawrence ; and within was 
the invalid to visit whose shrine our pilgrimage was 

The mother — a kindly-faced woman, with a 
substantial form — and two sisters — gray-eyed and 
sad-visaged — received us. The father — a medium- 
sized gentleman, with benevolent face, and a some- 
what English style of countenance, in its squareness 
and coloring — soon after came in and joined the 

Greetings, and the hundreds of little questions so 
inseparable from meeting, were tinctured with a 

304 Arnty and Other Sketches. 

genial warmth, on the part of the family, that seem- 
ed to flow from natures that radiated kindliness as 
naturally as the sun gives oft' its beneficent heat. 

In a little while, we crossed the central hall, and 
entered the room of the remaining daughter. 

It was a roomy parlor, with a south and east front. 
It was a balmy afternoon ; and white curtains, of 
exquisite cleanliness, rustled with a cool, tremulous 
motion, in and out the open windows. Upon a 
table, in front of one of the windows, was a variety 
of beautiful flowers, whose variegated petals and 
green leaves moved gently and harmoniously under 
the touch of the fugitive airs that passed into the 
room and out, in invisible procession. The western 
sun threw, through a window, a broad, golden band 
of light, which was shattered at intervals by the 
restless curtain. A few prints on the wall, a sofa, a 
table with some books, completed the outfit of the 

In the window was suspended a shallow basket 
containing crumbs. To and from this, darted wild 
birds, with many a chirp and whistle of joy. 

My eye took in these particulars the instant I 
entered the room. I hesitated, with a singular 
apprehension of approaching distress, from first 
looking at that which was the real object of our 
journey. There was an introduction, and I could 
no longer hesitate. There was something in the 
corner, which, in my instinctive avoidance of a 
direct glance in that direction, seemed an indistin- 
guishable mass of snowy white. My name was 
uttered, and I turned my glance upon this corner, 

The Most Beautiful Wotnan^ etc, 305 

which, for a single second or two, I had endeavored 
not to see. 

As I looked, the hitherto shapeless mass of white 
resolved itself into a cot covered with a snowy 
counterpane. Beneath this white covering were the 
undulating outlines of a woman, who lay with the 
covering thrown back so as to reveal her face, bust, 
and arms. 

As my eye reached the face, a thrill of surprise, 
and then of admiration, pei*vaded me. 

It was not the emaciated countenance of an in- 
valid ; but the full, rose-tinted, glorious face of a 
recumbent Venus ! 

To describe this face is a labor at which I hesi- 
tate, as might one who was about to convey in words 
the ideas which would inspire him as he recalled 
Guido's sublimely sad face of Beatrice Cenci. The 
cheeks had none of that pallor characteristic of long 
suffering. There was a groundwork of perfect 
purity, with just a hint of transparence ; and over 
which there lay a flush such as comes from the finer 
ripening processes of the sun. Her hands were 
small, with long, slender, shapely fingers. Her clean- 
cut lips revealed rows of even, pearly teeth. Her 
face was of the purest oval, and back from her 
forehead lay heavy masses of brown hair, that 
darkened, or became flecked with golden tints, as 
the uneasy curtains shut oft' or admitted the brilliant 
sunlight. Her eyes, filled often with a tender solem- 
nity, seemed, under the semi-shadow of her forehead, 
to be a dreamy, bluish-gray, that lightened with 
humor, or grew dark and humid under the influence 
of pathetic emotion. 

3o6 Army and Other Sketches, 

And yet this young woman, — this girl, — with 
the dreamy eyes, and a sad smile hovering about 
her lips, — had for fourteen years been a helpless, 
broken victim of disease. She who thus lay upon 
her right side ; who looked, at times, with a girlish- 
matronly glance, toward the flowers, her only chil- 
dren ; who seemed like a young beauty fresh from 
conquests and successes, has lain in her present 
position, perfectly immovable save as to arms, 
shoulders, and head, for the best portion of these 
fourteen years. All these weary years, bound like 
Prometheus to his rock, she has sufl?ered, at inter- 
vals, indescribable agonies. Her slender frame, 
filled with a horrible strength, has been so torn and 
convulsed that the combined efforts of three strong 
men have been found no more than sufficient to 
restrain her till the crisis has passed. 

Doomed each day to be stretched for a time upon 
a rack, compared to which that of the Inquisition 
was merciful, how is it that she has developed these 
graces, and that there envelops her features a seren- 
ity that has the brightness of a saintly halo ? I know 
not, unless it be from a knowledge that passeth the 
understanding of us who dwell out in the great 

She possesses intelligence that in no sense does 
injustice to her appearance. She conversed cheer- 
fully upon ordinary topics ; and was humorous, 
'pathetic, or serious, as the theme demanded. She 
uttered no word of complaint that she was doomed 
to a living death, nor has one passed her lips during 
the long years of intense suffering that have rolled 


The Most Beautiful Wontan^ etc. 

over her with their unvarying absence of reHef, or 
even of mitigation. 

This Hattie Lawrence ; this dead-ahve young 
saint ; this woman who shall never know mother- 
hood, save such as is given her in her flowers and 
birds ; this woman whose beauty bewilders ; whose 
patience and serenity amaze me ; who is imprisoned 
forever from the bright world, with its wifehood and 
its enjoyments ; and who knows life only as men near 
to, and yet out of sight of, the ocean, hear the dash- 
ing of the surf, and the thunder of its waves, — this 
uncomplaining, hopeful, immovable victim is to me 
the embodiment of a thousand times more heroism 
than is any other woman whom history has em- 
balmed for immortality. She is one who, better 
than even the original, fills the graceful picture of 
Mademoiselle de Villene, of whom it was said : 

" Son esprit tout divin repond a son beau corps, 
Le ciel en la faisant epuisa ses tresors." 

Such of us who toil and sorrow, and who find life 
wearisome and a pain, should look for a few mo- 
ments upon the sunny face, and into the tender, 
hopeful eyes, of this gallant soul, whose suflerings 
and whose beauty I have so imperfectly delineated. 
In so doing, we should find that there is no agony so 
severe, no endeavor so arduous, no grief so inter- 
mittent and poignant, that it may not be endured, 
until its chastening result in an adornment.